Page last updated: 13 July, 2021, 2:17pm
Community ophthalmology service for minor eye conditions
Ophthalmology Casualty Number
South and West Essex CCG’s
From now on if you need to refer a patient URGENTLY to the eye casualty ring this number instead: 01702 385213 or Ex 5213. Select option 3 for the eye casualty nurse or option 4 the eye clinic nurse
These two numbers will be answered between the hours of 8 to 9 Monday to Friday. We have set up answerphones on both these extensions which the nurses regularly check.
After 18.00 and over the weekend please contact the ophthalmologist on call, as before through the switchboard.
MSE Interim Community Ophthalmology Service for Minor Eye Conditions (MECS)
The five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across mid and south Essex have commissioned an interim Community Ophthalmology Service for patients with minor eye conditions from Primary Eyecare (provider arm of the Local Optical Committee).
This service will be provided by accredited community optometrists and the intention is to reduce the burden on busy GP practices, A&E and the Hospital Eye Service.
This service will be available from 8th April 2020 till 30th September 2021 when the substantively commissioned service will be available through the MSE Minor Eye Conditions Community Service.
Any patient requiring this service can be directed to one of a number of accredited Ophthalmic Practices.
Patients presenting to your surgery with the following eye conditions can be signposted to the MSE Minor Eye Conditions Community Service:-
- Loss of vision including transient loss
- Ocular pain
- Differential diagnosis of red eye
- Foreign body and emergency contact lens removal (not by the fitting practitioner)
- Dry eye
- Differential diagnosis of lumps and bumps in the vicinity of the eye
- Flashes/floaters – recent onset
- Patient reported sudden onset field defects
- Patients registered with a GP practice in mid and south Essex. The service will also accept referrals for those who are not registered with any GP but are resident within mid and south Essex and eligible to receive NHS funded care.
Independent Prescribing Optometrist (IPO’s)
During COVID – 19 the Interim MECCS service has been extended to utilise the skills of accredited Independent Prescribing Optometrists to undertake additional diagnostics and treatment of certain additional conditions not included in the standard MECS service (non COVID) provision.
Such presenting symptoms/conditions may include, (list not exhaustive)
- Severe dry eye / chronic ocular irritation
- Severe corneal abrasions
- Treatment of post-operative cystoid macular oedema following cataract surgery, as confirmed on OCT scanning, as per agreed treatment protocol.
How to signpost patients:
For patients who are suitable for the community service who are registered with a GP practice in Mid or South Essex CCGs, please offer them a choice of provider from the list of accredited ophthalmic practices and provide them with written contact details of their chosen practice as they will be required to ring and book an appointment. Patients will be triaged via a phone assessment and for symptoms which may require urgent attention (potentially sight-threatening conditions) the COS providers will be expected to assess the patient within 24/48 hours. If the condition is not sight threatening, the providers will be expected, within reason to provide the patient with an assessment within five working days after contacting the service; please note this is not a walk-in service and patients are required to ring and book an appointment.
Please click below for an up to date list of accredited optometrists.