List of participating practices
ACES patient leaflet
GP referral form
What is ACES?
ACES is a free service available to all patients registered with a Somerset GP. The service is designed for the assessment and treatment of recently occurring medical eye conditions by local optometrists.
The service is provided by local optometrists with the specialist knowledge and skills to carry out this work at locally approved optometrists.
- If the patient has an eye condition that is being regularly monitored by their optometrist or the hospital eye service, this will not be covered by ACES; for example: cataracts, glaucoma or dry eye
- The service does not replace the routine eye examination, eye tests or prescriptions for spectacles
- A sight test will not be performed as part of the assessment or treatment and the patient will not be issued with a prescription for spectacles
Medical eye conditions which can be treated by ACES
The service is designed for recently occurring medical eye conditions such as:
Sudden or recent reduction in vision in one or both eyes Red eye(s) or eye lids Pain and/or discomfort in the eyes, around the eye area or temples Recent onset or sudden increase of flashes and/or floaters in one or both eyes Mild trauma, for example a scratch to the outer surface of the eye(s) or lid(s) Suspected foreign body in the eye Recent onset of double vision Significant recent discharge from or watering from the eye
Eye conditions which cannot be treated by ACES
If the patient has any of the following eye conditions they should be directed to Accident & Emergency
- Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Considerable eye pain
- Significant trauma such as a penetrating injury or lacerations to the eye(s) or lid(s)
- Chemical injury or burns
- Recent eye surgery
If you are unsure whether the symptoms qualify, please contact one of the approved optometrists who can advise you.
How do patients access ACES?
Patients can contact an approved optometrist directly (self-refer) and make an appointment and ask to be seen under ACES. Appointments are available during usual working hours and patients should be seen within 24 hours.
Alternatively, patients may make an appointment to see their GP and he or she may advise the patient to book an appointment with an optometrist for treatment, providing them with a completed referral form or letter.
Patients presenting at a GP practice who do not receive a consultation may be signposted to ACES without a referral form.
The patient is free to contact any of the approved optometrists. However, their normal optometrist may have chosen not to offer this service.
What happens when the patient goes to the optometrist
When the patient attends for an ACES appointment the optometrist will discuss their eye history including any symptoms they may be experiencing and any related medical history. The patient will receive an eye assessment relevant to their symptoms.
A list of all current medications and up-to-date spectacles should be taken to the appointment.
As a result of the consultation, the patient may be;
- Given appropriate treatment by the optometrist, this may include a follow-up appointment
- Referred to their GP for appropriate treatment if their eye condition is related to their general health
- Referred directly to the hospital eye service if their eye condition is more serious.
Following the appointment the optometrist will notify the patient’s GP about the outcome of the consultation in order to ensure the patient’s medical records are updated.
REMEMBER: you may not be able to drive after your ACES appointment
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