Covid Urgent Eye Care Service (CUES)

Covid Urgent Eye Care Service (CUES) has replaced the service previously called MECS (Minor Eye Conditions Service). It offers the same service, plus some extra diagnostics if needed. 

If you have an urgent eye problem that isn’t an emergency, such as sore eyes, red eyes or visual disturbance, you can contact a CUES optician for assessment and management.

A health professional looking in a patient's eye

Who is eligible for CUES and how does it work?

You must be registered with a Southampton GP practice to access the service. It is available from a number of opticians in and around Southampton. You can find a practice near to you through this website https://primaryeyecare.co.uk/find-a-practice/ 

Please phone the opticians first for initial assessment; you should not just walk in. They will first assess you over the telephone, and then will give you advice, ask you to attend for a face to face CUES appointment or signpost you to another service depending on your needs. It might be that you can safely safe-manage your condition, with advise and medicine from your local pharmacy. If you require a face to face appointment at the opticians, you will be given an urgent or routine booked appointment depending on your need. They will advise if they think you need to see your GP instead, or refer you on to the eye hospital if required.

Which conditions can the service help with?

CUES can provide advice and treatment for conditions such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Visual disturbance
  • Dry eye, or gritty and uncomfortable eyes
  • Red eye / eyelids
  • Minor foreign body
  • Recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • In-growing eyelashes
  • Lumps & bumps affecting your eyelids
  • Flashes/floaters

Eye emergencies

If you have any of the following conditions, please contact the Eye Emergency Department at Southampton General Hospital:

  • Injury - trauma or chemical splash to the eye(s): - for chemical splashes rinse your eye immediately with water for 10-15minutes
  • Extensive and painful eyelid swelling, especially if feeling unwell
  • Double vision
  • Concerns and you have had eye surgery in the past two weeks
  • Sudden red or painful eye (worse over past two days)
  • Sudden loss of vision or change in vision (in the past week)  

If you are not sure if your eye condition is an emergency call the Eye Emergency Department on 023 8120 6592 for advice or for an appointment. Depending upon your symptoms you may be given advice, told that you can use the Minor Eye Conditions Service, or you will be booked to attend the Eye Emergency Department.