Medicines are traffic lighted as
- Green – can be initiated and prescribed by any prescriber
- Amber – recommended or initiated by a specialist, but then suitable for prescribing by any prescriber (sometimes with guidance, such as shared care)
- Red – for prescription by hospital only (i.e. not for prescription by GP)
A Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) examination (previously called Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service assessment – MECS) will provide a timely assessment of the needs of a patient presenting with an eye condition. This will be undertaken by an accredited optometrist within suitably equipped premises who will manage the patient appropriately and safely. Management will be maintained within the primary care setting for as many patients as possible, thus avoiding unnecessary referrals to hospital services. Where referral to secondary care is required it will be within agreed protocols to a suitable specialist with appropriate urgency.
Patients can self-refer and will be sign-posted from GPs, pharmacists, A&E, Hospital Eye casualty telephone triage or non-accredited optometrists.
Using the skills of primary care optometrists to triage, manage and prioritise patients presenting with an eye condition, patient care will be improved by:
- Reduction in unnecessary referrals to eye casualty clinics thus supporting secondary care to manage ophthalmology capacity
- More cost-effective care
- Speedier access to care
- Care closer to home in a more convenient setting
- Easier access for patients through self-referral
- Retention of patients in primary care where possible
- Reduction in antibiotic prescribing
Download the document Primary Eye Care (Heart of West Midlands) Ltd Solihull Services Service Pack for more information regarding MECS or see documentation page including Q&A presentation