Minor Eye Problems

If you have a recent problem with your eyes, such as sore eyes, red eyes or visual disturbance, you can be assessed and treated by our local Urgent Eye Care Service.

This is a free NHS service, and is available 7 days a week by telephone on freephone 0800 316 9200.

What is an Urgent Eye Care condition?

  • A red or painful eye
  • Removal of a foreign body
  • Sudden loss or change in vision
  • Flashes and floaters
  • Dry eye or gritty and uncomfortable eyes
  • Irritation and inflammation of the eye
  • Significant sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • Ingrowing eyelashes

The service does not cover long term conditions, sight tests of major eye conditions that are being regularly monitored by your optometrists or hospital eye service, e.g. cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma

Who is this service for?

All adults and children over the age of 2 registered with a local GP in the Bedfordshire or Luton areas can use the service for free. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult.

What happens next?

STEP 1: The call centre will register your details, check eligibility, screen for COVID-19 and promptly arrange a phone call with a qualified clinician e.g. an optometrist.

STEP 2: The clinician will assess your condition remotely by telephone or video consultation and provide advice on how to manage it and will enable access to topical medications and prescriptions where appropriate. He / she will confirm if a face to face consultation with an optometrist is required. If your condition is more serious, a referral to an ophthalmologist at the hospital eye service may be required.

STEP 3: If a face to face consultation is necessary your local optician will be contacted on your behalf to arrange a suitable appointment with you. During the face-to-face appointment, all PPE national guidance and social distancing rules will be observed.

Please note, people identified with COVID-19 symptoms, confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are in one of the at-risk groups will be managed by remote consultation or referral, and will not be offered a face to face consultation within the service, in line with the advice to stay at home and self-isolate.