Emergency treatment for urgent sight-threatening conditions.
GPs are encouraged to send patients to the closest available emergency eye clinic.
Find the closest emergency eye unit using the interactive eye-casualty services map.
Please see in Downloads a resource (Moorfields Eye Emergency Guide [August 2022]) containing a decision-making tree to support the referral process for the following:
- red eye, red flags
- eyelid swelling
- superficial corneal pathology
- watery eyes
- acute loss of vision
Please note: the number for the A&E “doctor-on-call” service is 020 7521 4682.
Virtual emergency triage
The service can provide emergency triage consultations on the Attend Anywhere platform for cases that GPs feel unable to manage. Please note: patients are pre-screened to check that they are within the Moorfields area. The eye-casualty services map, above, will direct you to the closest unit. Please advise patients that this is a triage tool, not an examination tool, as many expect that they will be examined virtually. This is not yet possible.
Video consultations: patient information on virtual triage
- patients with urgent, sight-threatening problems, such as:
- penetrating eye injury
- chemical/thermal burns to eye
- giant cell arteritis with loss of vision
- flashes & floaters of recent onset
- sudden loss of vision
- retinal detachment
- contact lens ulcers
- acute cranial nerve paresis
- corneal abrasions
- corneal foreign bodies
- symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma
- optometry referrals for pressures >30mmHg.
- patients with non-urgent problems (dry eyes, itchy eyes, hay fever, cataracts)
- Moorfields carries out active triage: if not urgent a patient may be triaged away from A&E
How to refer
Call A&E Direct in first instance (consultant of the day)
Telephone A&E Consultant of the day before sending patient.
Specialist Ophthalmic A&E Dept: send patient with GP letter if patient accepted.
Most general emergency departments can manage most simple eye conditions: abrasions etc.
Referrals MUST be called through to consultant of the day.
Include accepting doctors name on referral.
If the patient is already under another unit, send patient to that unit.
A&E is unable to offer second opinion requests.
Please telephone before sending patient. Specialist Ophthamic A&E Dept – send patient with GP letter (explaining why same day urgent).
Referrals MUST be called through to consultant of the day, t: 020 7521 4682. Include accepting doctors name on referral. If the patient is already under another unit, send patient to that unit. A&E is unable to offer second opinion requests.
For urgent cancer referrals see the 2WW page.