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Greater Manchester Urgent Eyecare Service

The service was set up during the pandemic and is delivered by over 200 local community optician teams, with over 38,000 patient examinations taking place in 2022. It can help reduce health system pressures by providing community-based assessment and non-urgent treatment for some patients who do not need to see a GP or attend a hospital emergency department.

The symptoms that the service can treat are recent onset:

· red or painful eyes or eyelids

· recently occurring flashes and floaters

· sore eyes

· recent and sudden loss of vision

· foreign body in the eye

Patients presenting with any other conditions, such as headaches, with no associated eye problems or conditions being regularly monitored by the hospital eye service will not be eligible to access the service (e.g. cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma).

The service is available across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester and provides access to emergency appointments close to home with an eyecare specialist. In most cases patients can be treated quickly and easily, however, if hospital treatment is needed, the service will arrange an emergency appointment with an eye specialist at a hospital – bypassing the need to wait in A&E.

Appointments can be booked directly by patients and are available during regular working hours, with some participating optometry practices offering appointments in the evenings and at weekends. Appointments may be virtual (via telephone or video) or face-to-face. Patients should telephone a participating practice which can be found at www.primaryeyecare.co.uk to access the service; the service is not a walk-in service.