Appointments, assessments and patient pathways

Your appointment

You may be referred to us by your community optometrist (optician) via your GP, or directly through your healthcare professional.

We run a number of clinics at our main sites and community hospitals. This includes follow-up clinics after your treatment or to monitor your condition. 

All new patients undergo a thorough assessment, which includes a medical history, examination of the eye and special tests. Treatment, if necessary, is often started at this first visit.

Assessments and investigations

We use a wide variety of tests and investigations to examine your eyes and help us diagnose conditions. This makes your trip to the general clinic less predictable than some of the sub-specialist clinics because the tests undertaken and treatments offered will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

This will involve taking detailed measurements and may also mean examining the tiny structures of your eyes through a microscope. 

Tests, such as pupil reactions, visual fields (a measure of your peripheral or “side” vision), eye pressure tests, and blood tests may be required for conditions such as eye movement problems. We also offer vision tests, OCT scans for the retina, and for some conditions, further tests such as a Fluorescein Angiogram may be required to confirm your diagnosis.

These examinations may require eye drops to dilate your pupil (make the black part in the centre of your eye bigger), so that we can get a better view of the back of the eye. These drops can take 10-20 minutes to work, and will blur your vision and make you more sensitive to light for a few hours.

Treatment will vary, depending on your diagnosis and some conditions require ongoing treatment or monitoring. 

Treatment

Depending on your condition, you may need specialist treatment or surgery to help manage your condition. We provide an excellent service across our locations, aiming to provide as much care as possible close to your home via our community sites.  All operations and some specialist investigations and treatments are only available at designated locations.

This is an example of some of the treatments we provide to help manage conditions. Treatment is on a case-by-case basis and your consultant will discuss your individual options with you. Please note some of the below are treatments offered within our Optometry and Orthoptic departments.

 

  • Day case surgery
  • Surgery under general anaesthetic 
  • Oculoplastic surgery
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections
  • Post-cataract laser service
  • Laser service for other conditions such as glaucoma 
  • Prescription eye drops
  • Corneal graft surgery
  • Intravitreal injections for some medical retina problems
  • Glasses prescriptions
  • RGP contact lens fitting
  • Soft contact lens fitting
  • Cosmetic contact lens fitting
  • Bandage contact lens fitting
  • Scleral contact lens fitting
  • Low vision aids such as magnifiers
  • Occlusion therapy

Cataract surgery

Before surgery: You'll have a pre-operative assessment and chance to discuss the risks and intended benefits of surgery. During the assessment, different measurements will be taken of your eyes and your eyesight.

Cataract surgery: Cataract surgery is usually a straightforward procedure that takes 20 to 30 minutes. It is normally carried out under local anaesthetic. This will consist of eye drops and/or injecting anaesthetic solution around the eye. You will be awake during the operation but you will not be able to see what is happening, however you may be aware of a bright light. At the end of the operation a pad or shield will be put over your eye to protect it. This will stay in place for 4 hours after the operation.

After surgery: It can take 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover from cataract surgery. Most people find that their vision improves after surgery. You will still need to use glasses for certain tasks, such as reading.

We hope to provide a comfortable environment for you to wait for your cataract pre-assessment or surgery. If you have any comments on this, we would be delighted to hear from you.

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Last updated: November 15, 2022