Minor Eye Conditions Service Info

What is MECS? (Minor Eye Conditions Service)

The MECS service is a freely available alternative option to presenting at Accident & Emergency for the diagnosis and treatment of minor eye conditions. MECS can be accessed on a self-referral basis or alternatively your GP may refer you onto MECS if appropriate.


Recent eye conditions that can be treated by the service include:


• Red eye or eyelids
• Dry eye, gritty and uncomfortable eyes
• Irritation and inflammation of the eye
• Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
• Recently occurring or sudden increase of flashes and floaters
• Painful eye
• In-growing eyelashes
• Recent and sudden reduced vision
• Something in your eye


Please note this is not an eyesight test.


If you are unsure whether your symptoms can be assessed and treated by the service, please contact a participating optician who will advise you.


If you have an eye condition that is being monitored by your GP or the hospital, contact your GP practice or hospital department in the first instance.


You should go to A&E if you have...


MECS is most certainly an alternative to Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) A&E, where we know some patients currently go. There are some circumstances, however, when only BRI A&E will do:


• Considerable eye pain
• Significant trauma such as penetrating injury or lacerations to the eye or eyelid
• Chemical injury or burns
• Problems arising from recent eye surgery


You should go to BRI A&E after 5pm and at weekends, if participating opticians are closed and you need urgent advice.


Find a participating optician


If you are registered with a Bradford/Airedale GP practice and/or live in the city boundaries, you can use MECS.


Make an appointment


Once you have found a participating optician you can call or visit your chosen one.

You will be asked some questions about your symptoms, to assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service. Depending on your symptoms, you will be seen within one or two working days.

Appointments are available during normal working hours. Some opticians offer appointments at the weekend.

The optician may put drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils, to get a better view inside your eyes. You should not drive until the effects of these drops have worn off, which may take a few hours.


What should I take with me? 


  • A list of your current medication
  • If you wear glasses, please take them with you
  • If you are experiencing flashes/floaters, it is best you do not drive to your appointment.

What happens next?


  • If your condition is more serious, the optician will book you an urgent appointment at a hospital eye clinic
  • If you need a routine appointment with a hospital, the optician will make a referral for you
  • If your eye condition is related to your general health, you may be advised to make an appointment with your GP
  • If you need medication, you may be advised to contact your local pharmacist