What is the Minor Eye Care Services (MECS)?

If you’re living in the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark you can now access a new service called MECS that provides assessment for many common eye conditions through your local optician.

This service was established by your local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group for patients of all ages who are registered with a GP within one of the six South East London boroughs listed above, to access an accredited local optometrist if they experience a medical eye condition.

Medical eye conditions that can be treated by MECS

  • Medical eye conditions that can be treated by MECS
  • Sudden or recent reduction in vision in one or both eyes
  • Red eye(s) or eye lids
  • Pain and / or discomfort in the eyes, around the eye area or temples
  • Recent onset or sudden increase of flashes and / or floaters in one or both eyes (appears like a fly, black specks or a cobweb moving across your vision)
  • Mild trauma, for example a scratch to the outer surface of the eye(s) or lid(s)
  • Suspected foreign body in the eye
  • Recent onset of double vision
  • Significant recent discharge from or watering of the eye

If you are unsure whether your symptoms qualify, please contact one of the approved opticians who can offer help and advice.

What happens when I see the optometrist?

The optometrist will discuss your eye history, any symptoms you may be experiencing and any related medical history. You will receive an
eye assessment relevant to your symptoms.

Please take a list of all current medications and your current glasses with you to the appointment.

  • Given appropriate treatment by the optometrist, which may include a follow-up appointment
  • Referred to your GP for appropriate treatment if your eye condition is related to
    your general health
  • Referred directly to the hospital eye service
    if your eye condition is more serious

Following your appointment, the optometrist will notify your GP about the outcome of your consultation in order to ensure your medical records are updated.

Remember: you may not be able to drive immediately after the eye examination

Eye conditions not treated under MECS

If you have any of the following conditions you must go directly to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department:

  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Considerable eye pain
  • Significant trauma, such as a penetrating injury or lacerations to the eye(s) or lid(s)
  • Chemical injury or burns
  • Problems arising from recent eye surgery

In addition, if you have an eye condition that is being monitored regularly by your optometrist or hospital eye service, such as cataracts, glaucoma or dry eye, this will not be covered by MECS.

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