This page covers referrals for Sandwell GPs. For information on referrals across the whole Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull area please see this page

CUES (supersedes MECS)

CUES is a service for patients with urgent ocular symptoms, such as a red eye, painful eye, flashes and floaters, suspect foreign body etc.

Please click here for further information and resources for CUES. The page includes information for practices taking part and those who are not..

IOP Repeat Reading, and Cataract Direct Referral

These are also run via the national Primary Eyecare Company, and use Opera software to administer. If you wish to join please email

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening

A Digital Retinopathy Screening programme runs in the area. Patients are invited to annual photography by the new providers InHealth Intelligence. They have taken over the scheme from HEFT (Heartlands) and provide services out of a mixture of sites.

For contact details as well as a list of participating sites please see this page:

Wet AMD Pathway

Wet AMD is not an emergency but should be referred, on the same day that you see and diagnose the patient, to a dedicated FAST TRACK Wet AMD clinic where they should be seen within two weeks of referral.

BMEC / Sandwell:
email via NHSmail only to


tel: 0121 507 6714 to contact coordinator

you can us this Wet AMD rapid access form for BMEC

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.

Emergency Referrals

For patients requiring emergency (same day) assessment and/or treatment there is a casualty unit at BMEC which serves the whole of Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Emergency referrals to eye casualty should be made by contacting the eye casualty triage team on:

telephone No 0121 507 4440 between 08.00 and 16.00

The triage team will discuss with you whether the patient should be sent immediately or next day and an appointment time will be offered to the patient. You should give the patient a short written referral letter for them to present on arrival in the eye casualty department.

Casualty is open:
Monday to Saturday 09.00 until 19.00
Sunday and bank holidays 09.00 until 18.00.

Outside these hours patients should attend their local hospital casualty department.

Urgent referrals

Referrals requiring attention within two weeks should be made to the BMEC URGENT CARE CLINIC. Appointments can be arranged by telephone to the same phone number as emergency cases when the triage nurse will decide whether the patient requires emergency or urgent care. Again a typed referral letter should be given to the patient for presentation to reception when they arrive at the clinic.

NB If referring to Emergency or Urgent Care via Opera following a CUES assessment you still need to telephone the triage nurse and send a referral letter by hand with the patient.

BMEC/Sandwell Hospitals’ urgent or emergency email address (must use NHSmail):

Once sent, you must follow up with a phone call to 0121 507 4440 or 0121 507 4151 confirm the email has been received and actioned (and an appointment has been made if it was an urgent referral)

BMEC’s address is:

Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre,
City Hospital,
Western Road (off Dudley Road),
B18 7QH

Other Referrals

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. You may wish to look at Birmingham LOC’s direct referral guidelines.

BMEC/Sandwell Hospitals’ email address for routine referrals:

Emails must be sent from an account

Sight Loss Support in Sandwell

Sandwell have specialist team Sensory Services who provide advice and support on independent living for adults with sensory impairments. They offer help and guidance to adults who live in Sandwell, who have sight loss or are carers of people with sight loss.

They can help patients to adjust to sight and hearing loss, including practical training, enabling them to keep their independence with choice and dignity, including supplying devices and looking at possible adaptions to the patient’s home.

Call: 0121 569 2266 or text: 07767 256873
Fax: 0121 569 5789
or write to: Sandwell Enquiry, PO Box 15825, Oldbury, B69 9EL