Minor Eye Condition Services (MECS)
Red Eyes, Pain, Sudden Loss of Vision, Floaters and Flashes etc
What is MECS?
Sometimes patients may present with symptoms that are outside the remits of a routine sight test. This could range from sudden painless loss of vision to a painful red eye. If your problems are not related to your spectacle prescription, then you will not be entitled to an early NHS test.
What will happen in an MECS appointment?
At Sydney Goldwyn, we will take a detailed history and symptoms to establish the cause of concern and events leading up to any acute symptoms. Most of our time will be focused on one or two complaints to decide best management. We will not be doing a routine eye examination but tailoring the examinations to your symptoms.
What kind of things do we often see?
Reasons for MECS visits include; eye infections, wet age-related macular degeneration, retinal tears/detachments, dry eye disease, foreign body/eye trauma, sudden onset of floaters, in-growing eyelashes, vascular eye disease and uveitis. Some conditions are more serious than others and require urgent care.
Will you need to go to the hospital?
Where we can manage your condition, we will not refer you. Sometimes we may need to refer you and will use a designated PCAL (Primary Care Access Line) to get you booked in at the local hospital.
MECS at Sydney Goldwyn will often save you time (not having to wait in GP waiting rooms or hospital corridors) and save the NHS money (by not referring cases that can be managed by your optometrist).
Do you have to pay?
Currently there are no NHS funded and commissioned optician’s MECS services in Leeds or Bradford. The Local Optical Committees (LOCs) have been working hard since 2017 trying to convince the CCGs to fund this service. Our private MECS fee is £42. Our experienced optometrists, who are both registered and insured, will spend around half an hour with you. Often, we find these cases complex and they require follow ups or referral into secondary care.
What if you do not want to pay?
You can always arrange to see your GP. There is a good possibility that your GP may refer you back to your optometrist for MECS. Alternatively, you could visit St James University Hospital A&E and Bradford Royal Infirmary A&E. You should expect to wait around 4 hours before being seen. Please see that two attached documents from Ann Barrett (LOC Chair at the time) for further information and clarity on no-NHS funded MECS.