The Royal Free Ophthalmology department strives to deliver world class care by experienced and respected clinicians. We provide services across the Royal Free NHS Trust network but also at hospitals such as the Whittington and University College Hospital.

Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat a range of problems including: 

  • Red and painful eye
  • Change in vision
  • Double vision and squint
  • Children’s eye complaints
  • Eyelid problems
  • Neurological eye problems
  • Trauma.

The ophthalmology team consists of ophthalmologists, nurses, and health care professionals such as orthoptists, optometrists, and ophthalmic technicians. The team work closely with many other specialities including the emergency department, maxillofacial and ENT teams, neurologists, endocrinologists, and paediatricians. We provide a multidisciplinary model of care. 

The department, as well as providing expert clinical care, is also heavily involved in research, teaching, and training of many students and clinicians. 


We provide a comprehensive range of services at the Royal Free with access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments.

  • Cataracts 
  • Cornea and anterior segment 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Medical Retina 
  • Vitreoretinal (Surgical retina) 
  • Oculoplastics 
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology 
  • Neuro-ophthalmology 
  • Squint (motility issues)
  • Emergency Eye Care 
  • Low vision clinics 
  • Optometry clinics 

Royal Free Hospital Emergency Eye Care opening hours 

  • Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm  
  • Weekends and bank holidays (excluding Christmas day): 10am to 3pm.

This is not a walk-in service.

We treat patients on a referral-based process only, and subsequently offering appointments. These referrals come from optometrists and GPs in the community, 111 or from clinicians in our general accident and emergency departments across the Trust who will conduct an initial triage and assessment. Patients that walk directly into our eye clinic may not recieve an appointment.

Information on how an Optometrist or GP can refer to our service is provided on the relevant NCL websites for both. We are unable to provide second opinions or repeat prescriptions via this service. 

Outside of the hours mentioned above, a doctor will be available for consultation remotely and this is done via a clinician-to-clinician discussion after a patient has been assessed by 111, in the community or at a general accident and emergency. Advice for management will be given or should a face-to-face review be required an appropriate appointment will be made. 


Do you have an appointment?

Find your ward

  • Clinical pathway admin manager

    Clinical pathway managers for appointment queries 

    Barnet - 020 8216 4959
    Chase Farm - 020 8375 1055
    Edgware - 0203 758 2409
    Royal Free - 020 7794 0500 ext 31333, 31332, 82141
    St Pancras - 0203 758 2034
    Whittington - 020 7288 3870

    Finchley Memorial Hospital

    For further information about your appointment at Finchley Memorial Hospital, please call 020 7794 0500 extension 27404 or email: rf.cdhophthalmology@nhs.net.

Hospital locations


Referral details

Wet 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 ERS for all other urgent and routine referrals as this email address will only deal with WET AMD Referrals

The Team

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