Managing your acute eye problems in the community
We are proud to offer NHS funded assessments at Linklaters Optometrists, Bexleyheath and Linklater & Warren Opticians, Chislehurst for those suffering from common eye conditions as part of the South East London Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS). This service allows those suffering from problematic eye symptoms that require investigation and management to be assessed by one of our specially accredited Optometrists without the long waits typically associated with A&E visits or the trouble of trying to obtain an appointment with your GP.
To book your MECS appointment or for more information please get in contact with the practice teams.
The following symptoms/eye problems are suitable for assessment under MECS:
- Sudden or recent reduction of vision (in one or both eyes)
- Red eye(s) or eyelids
- Sore or painful eyes or eyelids
- Pain around the eye area or temples
- Recent onset (or increase) in flashes and/or floaters (commonly described as ‘flies’ or ‘wiggly lines’ or ‘cobweb effect’ in vision)
- Mild trauma (such as scratch to surface of eye or eyelids)
- Suspected foreign body in the eye
- Recent onset double vision
- Significant recent discharge or watering from the eye(s).
Who can access this service?
Anyone registered with a GP in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham. The service is available to all regardless of any age.
How can I access this service?
Simply get in contact with or practice teams and book an appointment. Appointments are available at short notice to accommodate emergency problems. There is no need to visit your GP. In fact, patients who visit their GP with minor eye condition symptoms are likely simply to be redirected to a MECS service.
What happens during my appointment?
The practitioner (a specially trained Optometrist) will ask questions about your symptoms and any relevant past history to help with their investigations. A series of eye assessments will then be performed, which may include assessment of:
- your vision with or without glasses.
- your eye pressures.
- the front part of your eye with a slitlamp microscope
- the back/inside of your eyes. This may involve a drop used to dilate the pupils (make them bigger).
- your pupils reactions, colour vision and binocular (3D) vision.
- high resolution OCT scans of the retina (back of the eye) and cornea (front of the eye)
Your Optometrist will then advise of their findings, their diagnosis, and management plan.
How should I prepare for my MECS appointment?
Please bring with you:
- Any glasses you use
- A list of your current medication It may be necessary to dilate your pupils as part of the assessment. For this reason, it is advisable not to drive to your appointment. If you wear contact lenses, please remove them and bring them with you to your appointment.
What is the likely outcome of my MECS appointment?
The majority (over 75%) of patients that require a MECS appointment are successfully managed without referral to the hospital eye service or back to the GP. You may require a follow up appointment within MECS.
Those that require onward referral to the hospital eye service are booked directly into the appropriate hospital clinic by the Optometrist using the NHS e-referral service.
Those that require emergency, same day care by an Ophthalmologist (eye doctor) will be sent to the local eye casualty with a referral letter.
Some patients will be referred to their GP for further care. This may for appropriate treatment or because the symptoms are found to be non-eye related or for further investigations (to rule out general health problems for example).
It’s important to note that a MECS appointment is not a substitute for full Linklater Warren Eye Examination or NHS Sight Test. A spectacle prescription is not issued as part of the MECS appointment.
Who pays for the Minor Eye Conditions Service?
The service was commissioned by local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group meaning appointments are paid for by the NHS.
What if I don’t have a GP in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham?
Patients who are not eligible for care under the local Minor Eye Conditions Service can access our Optometrists expertise as private patients.
- Eye Examination
- NHS Sight Test
- Contact Lenses
- Myopia Control
- Eyedream Contact Lenses
- OCT eye scan
- Minor Eye Condition Service (MECS)
- Optomap Retinal Imaging
- Learning Disabilities
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