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Community Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES)

The Community Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES) provides urgent assessment, and treatment for sudden onset eye problems such as flashes, floaters, vision loss or minor eye injuries, for residents of Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes.

What Symptoms Can Be Treated by the Urgent Eyecare Service?

  • Red or painful eye or eyelids
  • Recently occurring flashes and floaters
  • Recent and sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

Please note that this service is not an eye test.

Who Is This Service For?

All adults and children registered with a GP in Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes can use the service โ€“ and you do not need a GP referral.

Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult.

This service DOES NOT cover long standing or major eye conditions that are being regularly monitored by your optometrist or hospital eye service, such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma (including repeat pressure measurements). In such instances you should consult your usual optometrist or hospital eye service directly for advice in the usual way.

Contact Lens Issues โ€“ these should be discussed with your Optician in the first instance.

How do I access the Service?

The CUES service is open 7 days a week between 08:00 and 20:00, and can be accessed via the following telephone numbers:

Bedford & Luton Residents:

Call: 0800 316 9200

Milton Keynes Residents:

Call: 0333 015 1844

You can self-refer or be referred / redirected to the service by another health care provider e.g. GP, pharmacist, optician, care navigator, NHS 111, hospital eye service, A&E or MIU.

What should I expect when contacting the service?

On contacting the service, the call handler will register your details, check eligibility, screen for COVID-19 and promptly arrange a phone call with a qualified optometrist.

The Optometrist will assess your condition remotely by telephone or video consultation resulting in one of the following outcomes:

  • Management of the condition over the telephone, providing you with advice/guidance and/or prescribing/recommending medication, where necessary.
  • Arrange for you to attend a local Optician for a Face 2 Face appointment for further assessment / treatment of certain conditions e.g. foreign body removal.
  • Make an urgent referral to one of the local Hospitals as your condition requires Urgent care in the Hospital Eye Service.
  • Make a non-urgent referral to one of the local Hospitals as your condition requires routine care in the Hospital Eye Service.
  • Make a referral to your GP, where the Optician has concerns that you may have a systemic condition.

Please note that people identified with COVID-19 symptoms, confirmed COVID-19 infection or who are in one of the at-risk groups will be managed by remote consultation or referral. They will not be offered a face-to-face consultation within the service, in line with the advice to stay at home and self-isolate.