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Urgent Eyecare Service

What is the Urgent Eyecare Service?

The Urgent Eyecare Service (UES) provides urgent assessment, treatment or referral for sudden onset eye problems such as flashes, floaters, vision loss or minor eye injuries.

What Symptoms Can Be Treated by the Urgent Eyecare Service?

  • Red or painful eye or eyelids
  • Recently occurring flashes and floaters
  • Recent and sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

This is an NHS service provided by accredited optometrists (also commonly known as opticians).

Please note that this service is not an eye test.

Red eyes
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Who Is This Service For?

If you are registered with a local GP in an area where the service is commissioned, you can use this service. It is for people of all ages – adults and children – and you do not need a GP referral. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult.

The service is available in many parts of England – search our directory to find out whether the service is available in your area by entering the postcode for your GP Practice.

If you have a major eye condition that is being regularly monitored by your optometrist or hospital eye service, such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, this is not covered by this service. In this case you should consult your usual optometrist or hospital eye service directly for advice in the usual way.

Download our Urgent Eyecare Service leaflet to find out more.

How Do I Book an Appointment With the Service?

If the service is available in your area, then you can choose and contact an optical practice directly to make an appointment. This is called self-referral.

Find a local optical practice that offers Urgent Eyecare Service appointments.

You should contact your chosen optical practice by telephone and ask for an urgent eyecare service appointment. Please do not visit the practice without first booking an appointment. You will be asked some questions about your symptoms to assess your needs. More urgent cases will be seen within 24hrs.

You will be contacted by an Urgent Eyecare Service optometrist within a few hours to discuss your symptoms further, either by phone or video call.

If you have very minor symptoms the optometrist may advise you how to manage the condition yourself or how to seek support from your local pharmacy.

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Useful Information

Click here to download our Urgent Eyecare Service leaflet to find out more.

The College of Optometrists provide useful information on a range of eye conditions on their website lookafteryoureyes.org

Click the links below for useful information and videos on:

Blurred Vision

Dry Eye

Flashes and Floaters