Minor Eye Conditions

Community Urgent Eyecare Service (replaces previous MECS) The purpose of this service is to allow the assessment and management of urgent recent onset eyecare conditions within the primary care setting.

Typical symptoms accepted by the service are as follows:

  • Red eye with pain/ photophobia
  • Painful eye
  • Recent (< 3 months) visual floaters and/or flashes
  • Diplopia, distorted vision
  • Sudden loss / partial loss of vision
  • Mild trauma and foreign bodies (superficial , blunt, non-penetrating injuries)

Typical symptoms not accepted by the service are as follows:

  • Headache with no ocular symptoms.
  • Symptoms related to a known eye condition under hospital eye service follow up
  • Floaters over 3 month’s duration with no other change in vision may be advised to have a sight test.
  • Sudden loss of vision where a patient is generally unwell
  • Penetrative eye injures
  • Post-operative complications from a recent surgery

Patients cannot be treated by the CUES service if their signs or symptoms indicate they are more suitable for the following national / local enhanced services:

  • Direct referral for cataract and post-operative cataract care
  • Glaucoma Repeat Readings / Visual Fields
  • Diabetic retinopathy screening
  • Private or NHS sight test


  • Patients should be directed to their own optometry practice where that practice provides the CUES. If not, patients should be given the Stockport list to choose a practice to contact. Patients are required to contact the optometry practice via telephone and should not turn up without an appointment.


  • Pharmacy, optometry and GP staff can signpost patients who contact them with recent eye or vision problems directly to the service. GPs may also signpost / refer patients into the service and patients can self-refer. Where patients have minor anterior eye symptoms they will be triaged by a participating optometry practice and may be directed to pharmacy or self-care with the option to contact CUES if the symptoms fail to clear. The CUES service is for patients who are likely to require more investigation, differential diagnosis and diagnostic tests than a pharmacy would provide. Patients who present with a headache alone and no ocular symptoms would not be suitable for this service.


  • The service will provide initial contact, telephone triage, remote consultations and where necessary face to face assessments providing management of recent onset symptomatic or urgent ocular presentations. This service should not be used for repeat prescriptions. A small number of qualified independent prescribing optometrists will be able to treat some conditions in primary care which would previously have required secondary care referral.


  • Patients can contact any CUES practice on the list and will be triaged to an appointment with appropriate urgency and diagnostic tests their symptoms require. The patient’s GP will receive a report on the outcome. If the patient is not suitable for CUES they will be directed to the correct service for their needs which will include a sight test or Eye Casualty. A list of accredited optical practices currently providing the service in Stockport is attached below. For the most up-to-date list of accredited optical practices currently providing the service please visit www.primaryeyecare.co.uk using the ‘Find a practice’ tool.