Local Community Services

Durham LOC has been working with local NHS Commissioning Groups to encourage delivery of routine and minor emergency eyecare in community optical practices.

The aim of this is to free up capacity in the hospital, to help cope with increasing demand from both the ageing population and new technologies.

Here in Durham, community optical practices are successfully and safely delivering enhanced services as part of local eye care pathways which link into the hospital as appropriate.

This means that patients with a range of eye health problems are assessed by specially trained community optometrists situated in local practices, without the need to travel to hospital.

Other benefits include:

  • Increased choice for patients – they may be able to attend a practice close to home, or one with which they are familiar.

  • Speedy assessment – many practices can offer appointments within a few days.

  • Convenient appointment times – many practices can offer weekend or evening appointments.

  • Explanation of eye problems – most optometrists will have time to discuss eye health problems with the patient, and to answer questions, providing valuable reassurance.

Community Services available in this area:

Minor Eye Conditions Assessment and Triage (MECS or MECATS)

Cataract Pre-Op Assessment

Cataract Post-Op Service

Glaucoma Repeat Readings

Children’s Pathway

Ocular Hypertension Monitoring

People with Learning Disabilities

These services are in the process of transitioning over to the OPERA platform. Please click here to access the OPERA website. For help and support with OPERA – from getting started to making referrals, visit the help pages here.

Is Your Practice a Non-Participating Practice?

Please sign up! Any suitably qualified Optometrist can sign up to provide these services with only a small amount of further training required.

Any non-accredited practice can refer to an accredited practice directly.

These services cover both private and NHS patients – if your patient has symptoms, but is not suitable for a GOS sight test, please refer them in to this scheme rather than to their GP.


To find a practice participating in these services, please click here

For further information on any of the above schemes and details on how to participate, please contact Primary Eyecare on

If you need a code to access any of the WOPEC courses linked with these schemes, please send your request to with ‘Durham LOC WOPEC codes’ as the subject.

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