Emergency Ophthalmology – Moorfields

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Emergency treatment for urgent sight-threatening conditions.

GPs are encouraged to send patients to the closest available  emergency eye clinic rather than sending patients directly to Moorfields.

Find the closest emergency eye unit.


Eligibility criteria


  • Patients with urgent, sight-threatening problems, such as:
    • penetrating eyeinjury
    • chemical/thermal burns to eye
    • giant cell arteritis with loss of vision
    • flashes & floaters of recent onset
    • sudden loss of vision
    • retinal detachment
    • contact lens ulcers 
    • acute cranial nerve paresis
    • corneal abrasions
    • corneal foreign bodies
    • symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma
    • optometry referrals for pressures >30mmHg 


  • Patients with non-urgent problems (dry eyes, itchy eyes, hay fever, cataracts)
  • Moorfields does active triage – if not urgent patient may be triaged away from A&E

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs


Referral methods: Hand to Patient

Please telephone before sending patient. Specialist Ophthamic A&E Dept – send patient with GP letter (explaining why same day urgent).

Referrals MUST be called through to consultant of the day, t: 020 7521 4682. Include accepting doctors name on referral. If the patient is already under another unit, send patient to that unit. A&E is unable to offer second opinion requests.

For urgent cancer referrals see the 2WW page.