Referrals – Bucks CCG Area
Information updated in October 2021
The information below relates to referrals for patients with a GP in the Bucks CCG area. (If you’re unsure which CCG 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 cataract and IOP refinement (see below), should be emailed to Operose Health (formerly The Practice: Ophthalmology).
Operose advised us in July 2021 that they continue to run face-to-face and telephone/video consultations. The average wait for either of these is 2 – 3 weeks. Minor ops clinics (mainly for lid and lacrimal procedures) are held approximately monthly, in accordance with demand. The patients are currently offered face-to-face appointments in the clinics at Prospect House, Great Missenden, (including Saturdays), Cressex Surgery, High Wycombe and Poplar Grove surgery, Aylesbury.
Operose Health may be contacted by email: email@example.com for general queries (no patient data). Referrals and patient-specific queries may be sent (only from another nhs.net address) to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For more detailed local information on referral pathways in Mid & South Bucks, please download the May 2021 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 CCG 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 June 2021) is currently 14 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com. NHS SBS customer service centre may be contacted on 0303 123 1177. Queries about invoices may be sent to Linda Page firstname.lastname@example.org -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 (eg Optegra, SpaMedica) 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 Operose Health 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 September 2020. Urgent & emergency referrals should be referred by email to email@example.com. Please use the associated SMH eye casualty referral form.
(Note that faxed referrals are no longer accepted at SMH eye casualty.)
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.
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.