The Manchester Red Eye Service

You can now get walk-in assessment and treatment for red, sore or itchy eyes through your local optometrist.

What is the Red Eye Service?

This is a free service available to all patients over the age of 12 years who are registered with a Manchester GP.

The service provides a patient experiencing recently occurring red eye conditions with appropriate treatment closer to home or work.

The service is provided by accredited optometrists (also known as opticians) with the specialist knowledge and skills to carry out this work at a local optometry practice.

Eye conditions which can be treated in the Red Eye Service.

The service is designed for recently occurring medical eye conditions such as:

  • Red eye/s or eyelids.
  • Significant recent discharge from or watering of the eye.
  • Irritation and inflammation of eye/s or eyelids.
  • Stye – infection at the edge of the eyelid.
  • Tear dysfunction – dry eye.

If you are unsure whether your symptoms qualify, please contact one of the optometry practices who can advise you.

How do I access the Red Eye Service?

Please be aware that your normal optometry practice may have chosen not to offer this service.

You can contact any of these practices directly (self-refer) to make an appointment and ask to be seen under the Red Eye Service.

Appointments are available during normal working hours and you will be seen within 24 hours.

Alternatively, your GP or other healthcare professional may refer you to the optometrist for treatment.

What happens when I see the optometrist?

The optometrist will discuss your eye history, any symptoms you may be experiencing and any related medical history.

You will receive an eye assessment relevant to your symptoms. This does not replace the routine sight test.

Please take your glasses and a list of current medications with you to the appointment.

As a result of the consultation you may be:

  • Given appropriate treatment by the optometrist, this may include a follow-up appointment.
  • Referred to your GP for appropriate treatment if your eye condition is related to your general health.
  • Referred directly to the hospital eye service, if your eye condition is more serious.
  • Following your appointment the optometrist will notify your GP about the outcome of your consultation in order to ensure your medical records are updated.

Please note:

This service does not replace the routine eye examination.

A sight test will not be performed as part of the assessment or treatment and you will not be issued with a prescription for glasses.


You may not be able to drive immediately after your eye examination.

Eye conditions not treated under the Red Eye Service

If you have any of the following conditions you must go directly to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department or Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Oxford Road Manchester M13 9WL:

  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Considerable eye pain
  • Significant trauma, such as penetration injury or lacerations to the eye(s) or lid(s)
  • Chemical injury or burns
  • Problems arising from recent eye surgery

Further Information