Local people with sore eyes, red eyes, or visual disturbances are among those who can benefit from the Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) available in our borough.
Under the MECS scheme, any adults and children with a minor eye condition who are registered with a GP in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale can access the free NHS service available at a number of local opticians, rather than waiting for a GP appointment or a referral to a specialist clinic.
Dr Aggy York, local GP and clinical board member said: “If you are suffering with a minor eye complaint such as red eye or eyelids, dry eye or gritty and uncomfortable eyes, or irritation or inflammation of the eye, this service is designed to offer you convenient care, closer to home with an eye specialist.
“Simply book an appointment for a consultation with a participating optician. If the optometrist thinks your condition is more serious, they will book you an urgent appointment at a hospital eye clinic. If you need a routine appointment with a hospital, the optometrist will organise this for you. You may be advised to make an appointment with your GP if your eye condition is related to your general health.”
To find contact details of participating opticians, simply ask at your GP practice or visit the dedicated page on the HMR CCG website – www.hmr.nhs.uk/minoreyeconditions.
Wendy Craven, local optometrist and Clinical Lead at Primary Eyecare Services, delivering the Minor Eye Conditions Service in the Rochdale borough said: “Optometrists are highly trained specialists with the expertise and equipment to examine the eye in greater detail than most GPs. Optometrists can recognise, treat and manage common minor eye conditions. I’d encourage anyone with a recent onset eye problem to make the Minor Eye Conditions Service their first port of call.”
MECS is not a walk-in service and patients do need an appointment. To book, telephone a participating optician and you will be asked some questions about your symptoms to assess whether you are suitable for the scheme and how quickly you need to be seen by the service, which will be within 24 hours in urgent cases and within a few days for routine appointments.”
Please note, a MECS appointment is not a sight test. Also, patients with a major eye condition, such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, that is being regularly monitored by their optometrist or hospital eye service, should continue with their usual treatment, rather than use this service.
For more information about the Minor Eye Conditions Service and more details about the conditions that can be seen under the service, visit www.hmr.nhs.uk/minoreyeconditions.