Eye Outpatients

We have a large outpatient department on A and B Floors in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat building at QMC, from which a range of ophthalmic specialties run clinics. We also run some community-based outpatient clinics at sites around Nottingham.

Please refer to your appointment letter for details of where your appointment will take place.

Orthoptic Department

The Orthoptic Department is in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre on A Floor at QMC.

Orthoptists diagnose and manage disorders of binocular vision. They assess and manage patients of all ages including:

  • assessing babies and small children for defects of vision, including children with special needs
  • treating adults suffering from double vision associated with other conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, neurological conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis
  • ensuring speedy rehabilitation of patients who have suffered stroke and acquired brain injuries and have vision problems
  • assessing visually impaired patients for low vision aids

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 61750

Your appointment

What to expect at an appointment

You will need to check in at the main reception desk initially, and will then probably have your vision checked by a patient assistant. You may need to see a number of different staff and have a number of different tests and investigations.

Important information

Eye drops that blur your vision may be used, so do not drive to the hospital. The effects of the drops may last up to a day.

The appointment may take up to three hours or more, so please bear this in mind when making transport arrangements.

If you need an interpreter for this appointment, please let us know before you attend.

Please bring the following with you:

  • all your current medicines, including eye drops, inhalers and tablets.
  • current spectacles
  • if you usually wear a hearing aid, please wear this on the day.

Making or changing an appointment

If you no longer need or you would like to change your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. This may help someone else who is waiting for an appointment. Wasted appointments cost the NHS millions each year.

Cataract Clinic

The Cataract Clinic is based in Eye Outpatients in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre on A-Floor at QMC. 

Tel: 0115 849 3353

New patient appointments Tel: 0115 849 3392

Patients experiencing visual problems, for which cataract is suspected as the primary cause, are seen in the clinic and listed for surgery if appropriate. Patients are referred to the cataract clinic via their optometrist (optician) and/or GP.

What to expect at your first visit to cataract clinic

The aim of the first appointment is to confirm the diagnosis of cataract and establish whether you are suitable for cataract surgery. You will have a comprehensive check of your eye health and will probably see an optometrist, a nurse practitioner and an ophthalmic technician. Some patients may need further assessment by an ophthalmologist and a consultant ophthalmologist is available if necessary.

If you are listed for a cataract operation, we will discuss what this means and what to expect.

Important information: Eye drops that blur your vision will be used at this appointment, so do not drive to the hospital. The effects of the drops may last up to a day.

You will probably need to see a number of different professionals and have a number of measurements taken at the appointment. We try to do all the necessary tests in one visit, and therefore your appointment may take up to three hours. Please bear this in mind when making transport arrangements.

Please bring the following with you:

  • all your current medicines, including eye drops, inhalers and tablets
  • current glasses
  • if you usually wear a hearing aid, please wear this on the day

If you need an interpreter

Choose and Book patients: check with your GP how to arrange for an interpreter at your appointment.

Follow-up patients: contact the cataract clinic staff to make them aware of your needs before you attend.

Eligibility for cataract surgery on the NHS

Cataract surgery is only funded for patients who fall within certain visual criteria. If your vision is better than that on the guidelines, then it is unlikely that you will be eligible for NHS cataract surgery. You may wish to discuss the criteria with your GP or optometrist before you come to your clinic appointment.

Diabetic Eye Clinic

We offer a free Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Screening Service at QMC, City Hospital, Ropewalk House and a number of health centres and GP practices across Nottingham. The service is easily accessible to all. 

Diabetic Eye Screening is very important as part of good diabetes care. The screening visit itself is a quick and simple process.

Our diabetic eye screeners are all accredited and highly-trained practitioners, with our grading team based at Ropewalk House. All of the images taken at diabetic eye screenings may be reviewed by several different graders.

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening provides a timely treatment and adequate metabolic control can prevent up to 95% of severe sight loss.

Screening is offered every year to everyone with diabetes aged 12 and over. After your screening an expert will study the images of your eyes and if there are any problems we may call you back for another assessment at QMC.

Please note:

  • eye drops are used during the screening appointment which may affect your vision for a few hours, so you must not drive after your appointment (this includes using a mobility scooter)
  • you should bring any eye drops or glasses you are currently using
  • you may also want to bring sunglasses as your eye can feel sensitive after the eye drops
  • you can also bring someone with you to the appointment

Transport

Hospital transport can only take you to and from QMC or City Hospital. The transport number is 0845 266 9662 (office hours 9am - 4pm).

Hospital transport cannot be booked by NUH staff, as the operators will discuss patient needs and eligibility.

Please note that transport is restricted to appointments before 11.30am to ensure a minimal wait before pick-up.

Contact us

Tel: 0115 919 4411

Email: eyescreening@nuh.nhs.uk

Macular Service

The macular clinic is based in Eye Outpatients in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre on B-Floor at QMC.

The NUH Macular Service is one of the leading centres for macular treatment and research. The clinic deals with patients with wet macular degeneration and, if appropriate, patients are treated in a dedicated theatre with injections into the eye.

The department has a full range of diagnostic imaging equipment and technology which enables comprehensive investigation.

We aim to see anyone with suspected wet macular degeneration within two weeks of receipt of the referral and to give treatment within three weeks.

Patients are referred directly to the macular clinic via their optometrist (optician), GP, ophthalmologist or other hospitals. If a patient has been seen previously in the macular clinic, then they can self-refer.

What to expect at your first visit

On arrival, you will have investigations to diagnose and monitor your condition. You will then be seen by an ophthalmologist, who will discuss with you what has been found and the types of treatment available. If appropriate, treatment will be given on the day or on a subsequent visit.

We will carry out some or all of the following investigations:

  • Vision test: You will be asked to read letters from an illuminated chart to record your vision. Most new patients will have a refraction test to check their spectacle prescription.
  • Pupil dilation: The pupils are dilated with eye drops to allow a clear view of the back of the eye. These will blur the vision for several hours.
  • Ocular coherence tomography (OCT): This is a scan of the back of the eye using a special light.
  • Fluorescein angiography: Fluorescein dye is injected into the bloodstream via a plastic tube which is inserted into a vein in the arm or hand. Photographs of the back of the eye are then taken at timed intervals as the dye travels through the vessels in the back of the eye. The photographs will show any areas of leakage in the vessels. Two of the treatment options are:
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT): A treatment where a drug that is sensitive to light is administered into the bloodstream and a laser light is directed into the eye. This aims to stop vessels leaking and to stabilise vision.
  • Intravitreal injection: Anaesthetic drops are instilled into the eye and an injection is given. This aims to stop vessels leaking and to stabilise vision.

Important information

Eye drops that blur your vision may be used, so do not drive to the hospital. The effects of the drops may last up to a day.

The appointment may take up to three hours or more, so please bear this in mind when making transport arrangements.

If you need an interpreter for this appointment, please let us know before you attend.

Please bring the following with you:

  • All your current medicines, including eye drops, inhalers and tablets.
  • Current spectacles (glasses)
  • If you usually wear a hearing aid, please wear this on the day.

Research and development

The department is continually trying to improve the care that it offers for macular degeneration.

We try to link routine care to participation in clinical trials designed to answer important questions on the best way to deliver treatment with the fewest side effects. Participation in these trials ensures we remain at the cutting edge of current thinking about the management of this condition.                       

At your appointment, we may discuss whether you would like to take part in a clinical trial. We will explain exactly what this would involve, and give you time to decide whether or not to join. All trials are inspected and tightly audited, which provides independent quality control.

Low vision clinic

Our optometry unit has a low vision clinic which specialises in assessing people with macular degeneration and can advise on low visual aids. An appointment can be arranged in the low vision clinic on a separate occasion if required.

Eye clinic liaison officers

We have an eye clinic liaison officer (ECLO) who is available to speak with any person with sight problems, and their families/carers. He can offer advice and support and provide information on local and national visual impairment organisations. He also has direct links with local authorities and can arrange home visits from the visual impairment team.

The ECLO is based at The Link office in the Eye Clinic on A Floor. He is available Monday to Wednesday from 8.30am to 4.20pm and Friday from 8.30am to 1.30pm. Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 65632.

Ophthalmic Imaging

The Ophthalmic Imaging Department is based in Eye Outpatients and the macular treatment area.

We perform a number of different procedures depending upon what your clinician would like to investigate. We take photographs of the front or back of the eye using cameras mounted on microscopes, or scans of the back of your eye using a laser. Photographs can also be taken while the nurse administers a contrast dye (this is called fluorescein angiography).

The techniques we use include:

  • Fundus photography: taking an image of the retina (the back surface of the eye)
  • Slit lamp photography: photographing the front of the eye, including the cornea (front window of the eye), the eyelids and the iris (coloured part of the eye)
  • OCT scan (Optical Coherence Tomography): a scan of the retina using rays of light to measure the thickness
  • FFA (Fundus Fluorescein Angiography): photography of the retina using the fundus camera and a yellow contrast dye
  • ICG (Indo Cyanine Green): photography of the retina using the fundus camera and a green contrast dye

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 67786

Optometry

The Optometry Unit is part of the Head and Neck Service in the Ophthalmology Department. It provides one of the most extensive hospital optometry services in the Midlands.

We are located in the Eye, Ear Nose and Throat Centre on A Floor at QMC.  Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 65128

Contact Lens Clinic

The Contact Lens Clinic is a specialist clinic for ophthalmology patients with a medical need for contact lenses. Indications for hospital contact lenses include:

  • corneal irregularities e.g. corneal scarring, keratoconus, corneal grafts
  • very high hypermetropia (long sight), myopia (short sight), astigmatism or a large difference in prescriptions between the two eyes
  • therapeutic (bandage) lenses to aid healing or pain relief
  • cosmetic contact lenses e.g. for disfiguring eye injuries
  • paediatric contact lenses e.g. for babies after cataract surgery

Loss of lenses and NHS charges

Payment for new and replacement contact lenses will be discussed at your appointment. There are statutory NHS charges for contact lenses unless you are in an exempt category. Contact lenses are NOT automatically free of charge because they are supplied through the hospital clinic. For more information about exemption from NHS charges, see the Department of Health leaflet HC11.

If you lose a lens or need a replacement, you do not need to attend the clinic. Telephone or write, stating your full name, address and hospital number, making it clear whether you need a right or left lens. If possible, please include your daytime contact telephone number, so that we can let you know when your lens is ready for collection.

Low Vision Clinic

This clinic aims to help patients with visual impairment or visual difficulties. Patients do not have to be registered blind or partially sighted to be seen in the clinic. A full assessment is carried out to determine whether a magnifying device is beneficial and which magnifier is the most appropriate. We have a wide range of magnifying devices, which are issued on loan from the hospital. The optometrist advises patients on e.g. lighting and contrast.

Low vision patients

If you have been loaned a low vision device and have any questions, or you need a replacement, please contact the low vision clinic.

Replacement batteries can be purchased from many high street retail outlets.

If you would like a review appointment, please contact the eye reception desk on 0115 8754 524. Please note if you have not been seen for over a year, you will need a re-referral from your GP.

Paediatric Service

The Paediatric Service is in Eye Outpatients in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre on A Floor at QMC. Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 61750.

Patients are referred to paediatric clinics via their GP, optometrist or health visitor.

What to expect at your first visit

Your child will see one or a number of the following healthcare professionals: an orthoptist, optometrist or ophthalmologist. Eye drops which temporarily blur the vision may be used during the consultation.

We will make every effort to see your child without an unnecessary wait, however, please allow up to two hours for a visit to clinic as we will often need to complete a number of different tests.

Important information

It is important that you bring with you any glasses that your child has and any tablets or a list of medication they are currently taking.

Inpatients and Daycase

The Head and Neck Unit is made up of Ward C25 (Inpatient Ward) and Ward C24 (Daycase Lounge).

The unit is in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre on C Floor at QMC. 

Information for visitors

Visiting hours are 2.30pm -8.30pm, daily.

Please speak to the ward sister if you need to visit outside these hours.

We ask that no more than two visitors attend at any one time. Children are welcome, but please be mindful that other patients are often resting and need quiet. Chairs are available for visitors and can be found in each bay. If you would like to assist your relative or friend with meals and drinking (if appropriate) then please feel free to do so.

Please wash or gel your hands on entrance to the ward to help us protect patients against infections. Hand gel is at the entrance to the ward and also at each bedside. 

About the unit

Wards C24 and C25 are now one single unit instead of two separate wards, with day case patients on C24, and inpatients on C25. We also provide some procedures in the East Daycase Unit.

Ward C25 - inpatient ward

The inpatient ward has 34 beds, and we accommodate several different specialities, including ophthalmology, ENT, maxillofacial and emergency department beds. The ward has six-bedded bays, individual side-rooms and double side-rooms. You will always be cared for in single-sex accommodation.

The ward has a reception just as you arrive, on the left. Please present to reception on your arrival so that we can ensure you are in the right place.

Ward C24 – Day Case lounge

The Daycase Lounge has 24 reclining chairs that are grouped into four single-sex bays of six chairs. We also have a Daycase bed facility for patients with mobility difficulties or for whom a reclining chair would not suit. C24 cares for ophthalmology, ENT and maxillo-facial patients.

Patients are admitted to the Daycase Lounge in the morning for their surgery or procedure. They then go home later the same day after a recovery period on the ward following the surgery or procedure.

Contact us

Inpatient Ward C25

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 69025

Daycase Lounge C24

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 69024

Open 7am-9pm Monday to Wednesday; 7am-7pm Thursday and Friday. Closed at weekends.

Visual Fields Test

The visual field is the extent or area of a person's peripheral (side) vision and relates to each eye individually. A visual field test investigates the ability to detect targets without looking directly at them. It is possible for medical conditions to affect the visual field of one or both eyes without reducing visual acuity. Someone can be unaware they have a visual field defect. It is therefore important to check the integrity of the visual field periodically through visual field screening.

If you are attending for an appointment for a visual field test, please remember the following:

  • a visual field test may take between 15 to 45 minutes to complete. This depends on the type of test and the instrument used
  • bring current glasses to your appointment
  • following your visual fields test, you should have an appointment with a doctor, although it isn't always possible to arrange these on the same day. Please discuss the results of your test and any other relevant details with the doctor, rather than with the ophthalmic technicians

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 64195

Links Service

The link service provides advice, information, support and guidance for people with a visual impairment, their families and carers. We can also direct you on to other appropriate services.

The service is run jointly by Nottingham City Council's Adult SensoryTeam (AST), and Nottinghamshire County Council's Adult Deaf and Visual Impairment Service (ADVIS).

Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 65632

Email: QMC.LinkService@nottinghamcity.gov.uk