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Minor Eye Conditions Service

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What is a Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)?

The MEC service treats conditions which do not necessarily need specialist hospital examinations, in convenient locations for the patient, and is carried out by specially trained Optometrists. You may contact the participating Optometry Practice of your choice and they will offer you their earliest MEC appointment, which will be within a week of you contacting them or they will direct you to another participating practice. This is an NHS service available within several local optometry practices. The service is free for the conditions listed below.

Conditions that can be seen under the service include:

  • Acute* Red Eyes
  • Acute* Irritated or Inflamed Eyes
  • Sticky Discharge or Acute* Watery Eyes
  • In-growing Eyelashes
  • Foreign bodies in the Eye – urgent conditions will be redirected to A&E if treatment is required in under 24 hours
  • Recently occurring flashes or floaters.

*An acute condition is one with a sudden onset. If you have had the condition for many weeks and months it is called a chronic condition and you should discuss this with your regular optometrist or GP, in the first instance.

Please note this is NOT a standard sight test.

Where should I go?

You will need to contact one of the accredited optometry practices (opticians) offering the MEC service to make an appointment. Be sure to mention that you want an appointment with the MEC service rather than just regular sight examination. Appointments are available during normal working hours with some practices also offering appointments at weekends. Not all the registered practices have an optometrist available every day. If they don’t have appointments within a week they will be able to direct you to another nearby registered optometry practice.

How do I book an appointment with the service?

To make an appointment, call one of the opticians listed below.

Practices currently operating and accredited to the Minor Eye Conditions Service
Name  Location Address Telephone Opening Hours

A & I Lask 

Cambridge 

42 Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1EN 

01223 357303 

Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri 10.00-16.00 

Adlam & Coomber   St Neots  14 Brook Street, St Neots, Cambs PE19 2BP  01480 472051 Mon-Fri 9.00-17.00
Eyes of Swavesey  Swavesey  2 Station Road, Swavesey, Cambs, CB24 4QJ  01954 231158 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.00-17.00
Gathercole & Ward  Huntingdon  6 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3AQ  01480 453208 Mon-Fri: 09:00-17:00 Sat: 09:00-16:00
Gathercole & Ward  Ramsey 102 High Street Ramsey, Cambs PE26 1BS 01487 812358 Mon-Fri: 09:00-13:00
& 14:00-17:00
Sat 09:00-12:30
Krog & Whitehead  Whittlesey  1-2, Blunts Lane, Whittlesey, Peterborough  01733 205466 Mon-Fri 10.00-16.00

Sasks Optics Ltd    

Peterborough 

293 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, PE1 2PH

01733 563845 

Mon-Fri 9.00-13.00

Specsavers  

Cambridge 

13-15 Fitzroy St, Cambridge, CB1 1ER  

01223 305241 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

Cambridge 

30 Lion Yard, Cambridge, CB2 3NA

01223 366805

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

Newmarket 

1 The Guineas, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EQ  

01638 565270 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

Peterborough 

12b Serpentine Green, Peterborough, PE7 8BE  

01733 311695 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

Huntingdon 

128 High St, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 2NE  

01480 457800 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

March 

2-3 Broad St, March, Cambs, PE15 8TP  

01354 607120 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

Peterborough 

53 Bridge St, Peterborough, PE1 1HA  

01733 348822 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers  

Ely 

45 High St, Ely, CB7 4LF   

01353 653120 

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers    Ely Sainsburys, Lisle Lane, Ely, CB7 4AS  01353 888884 Mon-Sat 09:00-18:00
Sun 10:00-16:00

Specsavers 

Royston 

27 High Street, Royston, SG8 9AA 

01763 248161 

Mon-Fri and Sun 10.00-16.00 

Specsavers

St. Neots

13 High Street, St Neots PE19 1BU

01480 210820

Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00

Spectacular Opticians

Ely

7a, High Street, Ely, Cambs CB7 4LJ

01353 659333

Mon-Fri 9.00-17.30 Sat 8.20-16.00

Spectacular Opticians

Waterbeach

13 High Street, Waterbeach, Cambs CB25 9JU

01223 967479

Mon-Fri 9.30-17.30 Sat 9.30-4.00

Spectacular Opticians

March

10 Broad Street, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 8TG

01354 650115

Mon-Fri 9.00-17.30 Sat 8.20-16.00

Spectacular Opticians

Chatteris

16 High Street, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, PE16 6BG

01354 694666

Mon-Fri 9.00-17.30 Sat 8.20-16.00

Spectacular Opticians

Newmarket

126 High Street, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8JP

01638 662774

Mon-Fri 9.00-17.30 Sat 8.20-16.00

Spectacular Opticians  Downham Market 2 Maltings Mall, Downham Market, Norfolk. PE38 9TG  01366 385241 Mon-Fri 9:00-17:30
Sat 8:20-16:00

Westgate Optical

Peterborough

1st Floor Westgate House Park Road, Cambs PE1 2TA

01733 342464

Mon - Thurs 9.00-17.00

What will happen at your appointment?

You will be asked some questions about your problem and symptoms when you contact the practice to assess whether the condition is suitable for the MEC service or is more urgent in nature. You will be seen within one week if a MEC appointment is suitable.

Please take your glasses and a list of your current medication with you to the appointment. The optometrist may need to put drops into your eyes to enlarge your pupils and get a better view inside your eyes. YOU SHOULD NOT DRIVE UNTIL THESE DROPS HAVE WORN OFF, which may take a few hours.

If your condition is found to be more serious after examination, you will need to be seen within the hospital. You will be referred either routinely or as an emergency, dependent on the condition. You may also be advised to make an appointment with your GP if your eye condition is related to your general health. If you are not entitled to free NHS prescriptions you may be charged for any medication you require. Please discuss your options with the optometrist.

Concerned about this service?

If you feel dissatisfied with this service and wish to make a complaint please contact:

Primary Eyecare (Cambridgeshire) Ltd
42 Chesterton Road
Cambridge CB4 1EN

Telephone: 03303 033334


22/10/2021