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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Eye emergencies

Our Eye Emergency department is for urgent, sight-threatening eye problems.

Eye emergency triage line - 0300 019 4181

For A&E queries out of hours (Dr on call via switchboard)

Staff – Deputy Clinical Lead: Claire Wakelin-Smith

Supported by consultants: Catherine Marsh

Emergency care in the Covid-19 crisis.

If you have an eye emergency but are concerned about travelling in, you can speak to one of our clinicians via our telephone triage systemOur Eye Emergency triage service is for existing University Hospital Dorset patients and those who live in our catchment area who have a potentially life or sight threatening problem.

  • If you are under the care of another eye hospital, you must contact them for advice first. If you live closer to another eye unit, we may redirect you there.
  • Even if you have been advised to call us by your GP or 111, you may not be seen if you do not fulfil the above criteria and your condition is not an emergency. ​
  • Please inform the doctor if you are unwell, or have had any contact with anyone with Corona-virus, and this will help them direct you to the safest service??. If you are in danger and require urgent help, dial 999.​
  • Please note, this service does not replace a full ophthalmic examination. Instead, it is aimed to help the triage team decide the safest action for you. Some patients may be asked to come to hospital for a further examination, whilst others can be managed locally.

What this service does

Eye Emergencies can be found at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Castle Lane East.

We are a specialist department and we aim to provide a first class service to people who have eye emergencies such as pain or vision loss of less than 2 weeks duration.

Our Eye Emergency team includes doctors, nurses and technicians and offers emergency treatment for urgent, sight and life -threatening problems only.

On calling our triage line you will be assessed by an experienced ophthalmic nurse, who will determine how serious your condition is and prioritise you accordingly.

Sometimes we will treat your condition straight away, but sometimes we might decide to refer you to one of our more specialist services for further tests and treatment,refer you to your general practitioner, to the community eye service or your ptician . Sometimes we will give you advice on self care. You may be offered a video or further telephone appointment.

Please note these times are for guidance only, as we may need to deal with more urgent issues as they arise.

Opening times:
8am-5pm (weekdays)
8.30am-6pm (Saturdays and bank holidays)
8.30am-2pm (Sundays)

Patients with emergency conditions out of these hours should go to the main Emergency Department at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital where they will be assessed. On-call ophthalmic support is provided 24 hours a day.

  • The service is not for general advice on minor conditions such as dry or itchy eyes, or to discuss use of medications or upcoming appointments. It is for emergency conditions only, present for less than 2 weeks.
  • If your eye problem has been an issue for over 2 weeks you can call this number or look online for further help:
  • For Dorset patients
  • For Hampshire patients
    • https://primaryeyecare.co.uk
    • Patients with a West Hampshire GP can call the 'Central Hub' team who will do an initial triage and arrange an appointment with a participating optical practice if required: 0300 303 4922 (9 am - 5pm Monday-Saturday).
  • They run clinics from local opticians so there is likely to be one near you. You can call yourself and organise an appointment, if they feel you should be seen at the hospital they will contact us.
  • If you need a repeat prescription please see your GP. We are unable to issue repeat prescriptions in Eye Emergency
  • Eye Emergency is not a "walk in" clinic and you will be asked to see your optician or GP if you do not have an emergency.
  • If you are an existing patient with a query, please contact your Consultant's secretary
  • If you have a query about an appointment:
    • Outpatient enquiries
      0300 019 4740
    • Admissions
      0300 019 4366
  • The trust operates a zero tolerance policy in regards to abusive and aggressive behaviour towards our staff.
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