The Bradford & Airedale Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) uses the skills of Optometrists in primary eye care to triage, manage and prioritise patients presenting with a minor eye condition. Management will be maintained within the primary care setting for as many patients as possible – avoiding unnecessary referrals to hospital services.


MECS is available to people with new or very recent minor eye problems to get the help that they need quickly and easily closer to home.


Under this scheme, any patient who is registered with a Bradford or Airedale area GP can access this local service rather than waiting for a GP appointment or referral to a specialist clinic. Patients are able to self-present to an Optometry or Optician’s practice which provides this service. You will need to contact the Opticians first to arrange a suitable appointment date and time.


Opening times vary but most are open between 9am and 5.30pm Monday – Saturday, and some 10am – 4.00pm on Sunday.


To find a participating practice please click on the list below:


Bradford BD1 BD2 BD3 BD4 BD5
BD6 BD7 BD8 BD9 BD10
BD11 BD12 BD13 BD14 BD15
Bingley Ilkley Keighley Shipley Skipton


Minor eye conditions that can be seen in the service include:

    • Loss of vision (including transient loss)
    • Sudden onset of blurred vision (unless a sight test is more appropriate)
    • Ocular pain or discomfort
    • Systemic disease affecting the eye
    • Differential diagnosis of the red eye
    • Foreign body
    • Emergency contact lens removal (not by the fitting practitioner)
    • Dry eye
    • Epiphora (watery eye)
    • Trichiasis (in growing eyelashes)
    • Differential diagnosis of lumps and bumps in the vicinity of the eye
    • Recent onset of Diplopia
    • Flashes/floaters
    • Retinal lesions
    • Patient reported field defects
    • GP referral

But NOT for:

    • Wet AMD found during ST
    • Refining referrals from a ST (e.g. glaucoma/cataract) But can use for recent flashes and floaters
    • Flashes & Floaters stable for >3m
    • 2nd incident of Flashes & Floaters within 1 month of 1st (this would count as an unpaid follow up)
    • Repeated dry eye within 4 months of 1st MECS
    • Repeated removal of lashes within 4 months of 1st MECS
    • Where a sight test would be more appropriate
    • Adult squints
    • Longstanding diplopia
    • Repeat field tests
    • AMD
    • Previously identified severe eye conditions needing HES, Herpes Zoster, Tumours
    • Where other enhanced services are more appropriate e.g. Cataract referral, Cataracts post-op, Repeat IOP, Diabetic retinopathy

You would not normally carry out a GOS sight test and a MECS on the same day. You need to choose which is most appropriate and do that.

The service is for people of all ages – adults and children. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult.

On contacting an optometry practice, staff will triage patient to determine if they qualify for MECS, and how soon they need to be seen. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, they may need to be seen within 24 or 48 hours.

Outcomes of a MECS include:

  • GP report
  • Treat and discharge
  • Reassure and discharge [patient leaflets available]
  • Advise Therapy
  • Follow up
  • Refer to GP
  • Routine referral
  • Urgent referral
  • Emergency referral