Our ophthalmology service provides world-class care delivered by experienced and respected clinicians. Services are provided across the trust’s three hospitals, as well as at other locations.

Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat a range of problems including: 

  • red and painful eye
  • change in vision
  • double vision and squint
  • eyelid problems
  • neurological eye problems
  • children’s eye complaints
  • trauma.

The ophthalmology team consists of ophthalmologists (eye doctors), nurses and healthcare professionals such as orthoptists, optometrists and ophthalmic technicians. 

The team works closely with many other medical and surgical specialties, including the emergency department, maxillofacial and ear, nose and throat teams, neurologists, endocrinologists, and paediatricians. 

The service provides a multidisciplinary model of care to ensure patients receive the highest standard of care. 

As well as providing expert clinical care, the service is proud of its longstanding involvement with the University College London Medical School in teaching medical students and training ophthalmic doctors, as well as many other allied healthcare professionals, within the North Thames Deanery network. 

The service is also heavily involved in research, which provides up-to-date standards for patient care, providing the best outcomes.

A comprehensive range of services are provided by the department, with access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments.

These include:

  • cataract surgery
  • cornea and anterior segment 
  • glaucoma 
  • medical retina 
  • vitreoretinal (surgical retina) 
  • oculoplastics and adnexal 
  • paediatric ophthalmology 
  • neuro-ophthalmology 
  • squint (motility issues).
  • emergency eye care 
  • low vision clinics 
  • optometry clinics

The Royal Free Hospital emergency eye care service treats patients on a referral basis. Please note: this is not a walk-in service. 

Referrals come from optometrists and GPs in the community, from Moorfields Eye Hospital’s Attend Anywhere platform, or from clinicians in the trust’s accident and emergency departments after conducting an initial triage and assessment. 

Please note: patients who walk directly into the emergency eye clinic may not receive an appointment. If there is no capacity to be seen on the day, patients may be directed to another trust.

Second opinions and repeat prescriptions are not provided via this service. 

Opening times

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm  
  • Weekends and bank holidays (excluding Christmas day), 10am to 3pm.

Outside of the above hours, the on-call doctor is available for remote consultation remotely. This is done via a clinician-to-clinician discussion, after a patient has been assessed. Advice will be given or, if a face-to-face review is required, an appropriate appointment made. 

Community diagnostic centres (CDCs), previously referred to as community diagnostic hubs, are an NHS initiative aimed at building capacity for more diagnostic testing in England and relieving pressure on hospitals outpatient services. They are multi-diagnostic facilities, separate from acute hospitals and placed in local communities.

Upon arrival at the centre, a patient usually undertakes various tests within 45 minutes. This is much less than the time spent in their usual outpatient clinic.

The results are reviewed by a consultant remotely and the outcome sent to the patient. Patients will only be asked to attend a follow-up hospital visit if the consultant sees something requiring urgent or in-person attention.

The centre may be further away from home for some patients, but the reduced time spent there and the need to visit only infrequently, have proven to be an efficient model of care for patients.

For wet age-related macular generation (AMD) referrals (optometrists only):

  • If a patient is suspected of having wet AMD, they must be referred urgently by their optometrist and will be seen within two weeks. 
  • All referrals must be sent to rf-tr.amdurgentreferral@nhs.net

Please use the NHS e-Referral Service for all other urgent and routine referrals, as the above email address will only deal with wet AMD referrals.

The following websites have information and support you may find useful: