Referrals – Bucks ICB Area
The information below relates to referrals for patients with a GP in the Bucks ICB area. (If you’re unsure which ICB area applies, check the lists available here.)
Remember that you should only email your referrals from an address ending in @nhs.net. Every health professional is personally responsible for protecting patient data, and referrals sent from other email addresses will not be secure. If your practice doesn’t have an nhs.net email address, please check our website here for information on how to get one.
All routine referrals, except for those optoms accredited to the Bucks Direct Cataract Referral Scheme (see below), should be emailed using the EeRS/ Rego referral system.
For any technical queries regarding EeRS in Bucks ,please email email@example.com
For EeRS login set up and training , send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a youtube demo link for EeRS/ Rego which will help with understanding the features and navigation of EeRS/ Rego system.
As you may be aware, Operose took the decision to cease providing all ophthalmology services locally and nationally in March 2023. All Operose patients have been transferred to the new provider, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT).
NHS BOB ( Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire West ) ICB have been working with BHT and colleagues from the LOC to support safe transfer of service. In the meantime, waiting times for routine community services may increase but this will be a temporary position until the new service is in place and stabilised.
Please continue to refer as per your existing routes – EeRS/Rego for routine referrals & NHSmail for EyeCasualty, WetAMD and Direct Cataract.
NHS BOB ICB have sent apologies for any delays and concern this may cause to you and your patients during this time. They are working tirelessly with system partners to ensure the transition is as swift and safe as possible.
For more detailed local information on referral pathways in Mid & South Bucks, please download the June 2023 version of Eyecare Pathways Mid & South Bucks which should be displayed in every consulting room. Please also refer regularly to other information on this page, and look out for email updates.
Direct cataract referral scheme
Cataract referral for any patient with a GP in the Buckinghamshire ICS area should only be made on the Direct Cataract Referral Form (available in Word or pdf) by an optometrist accredited to do so. Optometrists not accredited should refer to an accredited colleague. For information on how to gain accreditation, download this document. Please refer also to the most recent cataract referrals threshold document, issued by Bucks PCT in October 2011, but reviewed and approved by BHT in 2019.
Waiting time for Stoke Mandeville (at July 2023) is currently 8-10 weeks from referral to surgery. Most cataract operations now take place in the standalone cataract theatre. Watch a virtual tour of the cataract theatre and the patient journey.
Direct cataract referral forms may now be emailed to Stoke Mandeville Hospital: email@example.com (only from an nhs.net account).
Invoices for direct cataract referrals must be sent to NHS SBS in Wakefield and addressed to Bucks CCG. A template invoice is available for download. NHS SBS requests that you adhere to good invoicing practice. Please note that invoices should not contain any information which could identify the patient (eg NHS number) but should include the GP practice code, which usually begins with the letter K (eg for Amersham Health Centre it is K82004). A list of CCG GP member practices with their practice codes is also available for download. Invoices should be sent on a monthly basis, and not saved up to be sent in batches. Invoices may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. NHS SBS customer service centre may be contacted on 0303 123 1177. Queries about invoices may be sent to Linda Page email@example.com -please attach a copy of the invoice.
Referring cataracts to other providers
By default, patients will have their surgery performed at Stoke Mandeville (although pre-op clinics are also held at Wycombe). Patients may exercise their right of choice, and be seen outside the area. The NHS website has a search tool which can provide current waiting times for local service providers.
Bucks CCG has confirmed (October 2020) that you may send the direct cataract referral (DCR) form to an alternative NHS provider and invoice Bucks CCG in the usual way. However, for the fee to be paid, the alternative provider must accept direct (one-stop) cataract referrals. Most NHS hospitals will do this, but some clinics do not, so no DCR fee will be paid in these circumstances. You are therefore advised to check this with the provider.
Following NICE guideline NG81 (November 2017) ophthalmologists working in Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust agreed that patients should now be referred to BHT on IOP >= 24 mm Hg (instead of the previous threshold of >21 mm Hg), in the absence of any other signs.
The Bucks IOP repeat readings scheme ceased in October 2020. The view of LOCSU is that optometrists working in areas where no repeat measures scheme is in place should not be criticised for false positive referrals which are the result of a lack of commissioning.
Urgent & Emergency Referrals
The hospitals have asked us to remind you not to quote to patients the timescale in which they will be seen. This decision needs to be made by the doctor who is triaging the case, and worried patients can often get quite upset if the appointment time given to them doesn’t match their expectations.
A new document on Referral Information for Stoke Mandeville Eye Casualty was produced in March 2022. Urgent & emergency referrals should be referred by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the associated SMH eye casualty referral form.
(Note that faxed referrals are no longer accepted at SMH eye casualty.)
Wet AMD referrals
Private ophthalmology at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust now offers private ophthalmology care at its Mandeville Wing, running evening outpatient clinics on Monday evenings, and operations on Saturdays. Download an information leaflet here. For enquires, you can call the Private Patient’s Office number :01296 315131
The information on referral pathways is intended to be helpful rather than definitive, and there may be a delay in updating information when pathways change. For urgent or emergency referrals we recommend practitioners confirm the provider has received the referral and/or give clear advice to patients on what action to take if they have not been contacted within an appropriate time frame.