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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For health information and advice, read our pages on coronavirus. Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.

Notice of CCG closure

From 1 July 2022 please visit our new ICB website

On 1 July 2022, the six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent closed down and the functions of the CCGs transferred to a new NHS organisation, known as an integrated care board. The new organisation is responsible for NHS spend and the day-to-day running of the NHS in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Therefore, South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group no longer exists and the responsibilities of the CCG, along with the other CCGs in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, have transferred to the new NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board (ICB).

These changes have taken place under the new Health and Care Act 2022, which amongst other things aims to tackle health inequalities and create safer, more joined-up services that will put the health and care system on a more sustainable footing. There are no changes to how local residents access NHS frontline services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as part of these changes.

From 1 July 2022 if you visit this website, you will be re-directed to the new ICB website.

Eye-Care Services

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Minor Eye Condition Services (MECS)

The MECS service is available as an alternative option to presenting at Accident & Emergency for the diagnosis and treatment of minor eye conditions. MECS can be accessed on a self-referral basis or alternatively your GP may refer you onto MECS if appropriate.

Your local optician has the accredited skills to be able to see and treat the following eye conditions:

  • Distorted vision
  • Mild to moderate ocular pain or discomfort
  • Red eyes (which cannot be managed by the GP)
  • Corneal conditions (such as small corneal foreign bodies or superficial abrasions)
  • Dry eyes
  • Watery eyes (epiphora)
  • In growing eyelashes (trichiasis)
  • Eyelid lumps and bumps
  • Flashes and floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Retinal lesions

Please note this is not an eyesight test.

If you are unsure whether your symptoms can be assessed and treated by the service, please contact a participating optician who will advise you.

If you have an eye condition that is already being monitored by your GP or the hospital, contact your GP practice or hospital department in the first instance.

You should go to A&E if you have...

MECS is most certainly an alternative to A&E, where we know some patients currently go. There are some circumstances, however, when only A&E will do:

  • Considerable eye pain
  • Significant trauma such as penetrating injury or lacerations to the eye or eyelid
  • Chemical injury or burns
  • Problems arising from recent eye surgery

You should go to A&E after 5pm and at weekends, if participating opticians are closed and you need urgent advice.

Find a participating optician

Make an appointment

  • Once you have found a participating optician you can call or visit your chosen one.
  • You will be asked some questions about your symptoms, to assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service.
  • Appointments are available during normal working hours. Some opticians offer appointments at the weekend.
  • The optician may put drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils, to get a better view inside your eyes. You should not drive until the effects of these drops have worn off, which may take a few hours.

What should I take with me?

  • A list of your current medication
  • If you wear glasses, please take them with you

What happens next?

  • If your condition is more serious, the optician will book you an urgent appointment at a hospital eye clinic
  • If you need a routine appointment with a hospital, the optician will make a referral for you
  • If your eye condition is related to your general health, you may be advised to make an appointment with your GP
  • If you need medication, you may be advised to contact your local pharmacist

Other useful links

Understanding Cataracts The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Royal National Institute of Blind People:

Cataract Surgery via NHS Choices:

Cataracts College of Optometrists:

Shared decision aid for cataracts via NHS RightCare:

Guidance for those with learning disability Seeability - What is a cataract? (Easy Read):

Having a cataract operation (Easy Read):