MECS, Pressure Repeat Reading, and Cataract Direct Referral
These enhanced schemes are running in Sandwell:
See below for the Triage form and flow chart:
Further information about the scheme is available on the patient facing Regional Company Website with details of conditions such as red eye and flashing lights and floaters for patients in Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Solihull, Birmingham and Dudley.
If a patient has a GP in another area, you may be able to join a scheme that runs in that area. Please see this page for a list of websites/contacts for the neighbouring LOCs.
Diabetic Retinopathy Screening
Optometrists in the scheme have been reduced to taking photographs only and no longer grade. All grading is carried out centrally at Heartlands Hospital. It is still a requirement to complete the relevant City and Guilds units to be allowed to capture photographs, as well as attending a 3 day course at Heartlands.
HEFT (Heartlands) won a new contract in 2014 to provide Diabetic Screening services across the whole of the Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull area, with Wolverhampton’s previously separate scheme ending and those sites joining the HEFT scheme. HEFT have indicated they will review the provision of the service with respect to sites offering screening.
Wet AMD Pathway
Suspect Wet AMD should be referred to BMEC urgently by FAX TO 0121 507 6726. Referrals should be made on the following form:
It is important you follow this pathway for suspect Wet AMD as if you don’t, and the patient is not seen with due urgency, you could considered negligent.
These patients should be sent to BMEC casualty same day. If possible before sending the patient discuss the case with the triage nurse on 0121 507 6883 (or 0121 507 6780) from 7am to 9pm ,or via the switchboard on 0121 554 3801 from 9pm to 7am.
BMEC’s address is:
Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre,
Western Road (off Dudley Road),
Buses: 11A, 11C, 82, 83, 87, 89 stop outside hospital main gates on Dudley Road. Bus service 80 stops at junction of Dudley Road and Icknield Port Road
All other referrals are via the GP on a GOS 18. Unlike in neighbouring Birmingham, there is no requirement to directly refer patients. When referring to a Birmingham GP it is suggested you include something along the lines of “Sandwell Optometrist: We do not directly refer, GP TO ACTION” and draw attention to this on the letter.
In cases where a patient needs to be seen urgently or soon, you should decide if referral via GP is the most appropriate course. Please see this article. You may want to fax referral to BMEC on 0121 507 6785 following Birmingham LOC’s direct referral guidelines.
The LOC no longer maintain a list of GP surgeries. You should be able to find addresses on NHS Choices under “Find Local Services”
You can also use using this link to use Google to search only the NHS Choices website. Type your search in the search bar before the “site:www.nhs.uk nhs choices” e.g. To find details on the St Margarets Well Surgery you would type: “St Margarets Well Surgery site:www.nhs.uk nhs choices” or to find Dr Beockx you would type “Dr Beockx site:www.nhs.uk nhs choices”
To find out what services are running in neighbouring areas, please see this page for website addresses/contact information for neighbouring LOCs