Inclusion Criteria 

All general eye conditions including: 

  • Suspected glaucoma/ocular hypertension (but not elevated IOP alone for which there is an existing community service) 
  • Macular conditions including AMD (please note wet AMD to be referred to the local fast-track pathway)
  • Minor Eye Conditions General eyelid conditions subject to the CCG's Effective Use of Resources (EuR) policy for benign lesions and ptosis
  • Corneal disorders 
  • Squints can be seen within the service
  • Flashes and floaters including epiretinal membrane and posterior detachment 
  • Blepharitis and conjunctival disorders
  • Dry, red or watery eyes
  • Lacrymal syringing and punctal plugs 
  • Visual Field defects 
  • Minor operations in line with the EuR

Exclusions to the Service

Patients who meet any of the following conditions are not appropriate for referral and therefore not covered in this service. 

  • Patients who are not registered with a Salford GP; 
  • Children under the age of 18; 
  • Serious eye trauma, suspected serious pathology or suspected cancer (2WW). These should be sent urgently to secondary care as per local pathways. 
  • Treatment that should be provided under a standard GOS, GMS or PMS contract; 
  • Referrals for cataracts except where a patient has additional eye conditions that require referral or treatment; 
  • Referrals for Diabetic Retinopathy Screening
  • Conditions which are funded by NHS England relating to NHS Prescribed Specialised Commissioning; 
  • Patients requiring routine eye examinations or prescriptions for spectacles/contact lenses - a full eye exam is not required as part of the assessment, treatment or management. Where a routine eye examination is required, the referring clinician should redirect the patient to their usual community optometrist; 
  • Any patient who has received eye surgery at a hospital eye service within the previous six weeks;
  • Housebound patients; and
  • Treat conditions that are funded by NHS England relation to NHS Prescribed Specialised Commissioning. Separate arrangements will need to be made for patients who meet this criteria. 

The Ophthalmology Service will triage referrals and direct patients to the most appropriate service for their needs, offering patients a choice of location, date and time for their appointment so the Service is as convenient as possible for all patients. 

Referrers will be kept informed of their patient’s progress through the pathways and the outcome of their appointments. The Service will also offer a programme of Referrer Education to empower GPs and Optometrists in dealing with ophthalmic conditions, in a primary care setting. 

A dedicated referrer helpline 0161 259 0596 and secure email address: thepractice.cats@nhs.net is available 6 days per week should you have any queries about a patient, referral or condition.

The Great Paper Switch Off 

Did you know that we still accept paper referrals such as GSo18 forms from Optometrists? Whilst hospitals will no longer accept these referrals, we still accept paper referrals and can refer onwards to hospital eye services. All paper referrals received by our service are added to our patient administration system and then securely disposed of. Should we need to refer the patient onwards to secondary care, we are able to send these electronically via the NHS e-Referral Service. 

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