Since July 2022, The Integrated Care Board has taken over commissioning of the Community Urgent Eye Care Service (CUES) from Primary Eye Care Services, which is a national confederation, supporting Local Optical Committees. This is available in all four of the ICB places in our Central Mersey area, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington.

The CUES service provides assessment and treatment for people with recently occurring urgent eye symptoms, such as:

  • Red, sore, or watery eyes
  • Foreign bodies
  • In-growing eyelashes
  • Sudden visual disturbances such as flashes, floaters, blurring or distortion

Research has shown that 40% of people who were referred to hospital for a first ophthalmic outpatient consultant could be referred to a community-based eye service for assessment and treatment, or onward referral to an appropriate Hospital Eye Department. The benefits of the CUES include increased local access for patients, reduced first ophthalmology outpatient appointments and secondary care follow ups and fewer appointments in general practice.

CUES is for everyone, from young children to mature adults and is provided by accredited optometrists across Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington who have specialist training and skills. Patients with a GP in all 4 of our areas can self-refer by calling a participating practice or they may be referred into the service by staff at their GP practice, a pharmacist, NHS 111 or another optometrist. To find out your nearest practice providing the service go to:

This provides contact details for participating Opticians who will offer the service, Monday to Saturday, within usual opening hours. It is also available within more limited times at some sites on Sundays. The service is commissioned in several adjoining areas and in many other parts of the country, so patients can access any CUES provider listed in the website above.

NB this is not a drop-in service; Patients should always call their chosen practice ahead to check availability and make a convenient appointment. If the practice is unable to see the patient within the standard timescale, they are obliged to assist the patient to find an alternative option.

This page includes some documents providing more details, including leaflets and lists of pharmacies that can dispense the written orders for treatments. If you have any questions, or wish to discuss this further, contact the Chairman on:   [email protected]

Updated 14/11/2022