The MECS contract was due to end at the end of September 2020 - The CCG have extended the contract provisionally until the end of December 2020.


Bradford LOC and the CCG are keen to replace the MECS scheme with the COVID-19 URGENT EYECARE SERVICE (CUES).


This is a new service which has already been introduced in many other areas of the country and recently in Leeds.


It is hoped that CUES will be ready to roll out towards the end of the year. Please see the attached letter below.



For Participating MECS Optometrists

Patients can self-refer or be referred into the service by their own GP (or the practice nurse, surgery receptionist or care navigator), Pharmacist, Optometrist, NHS111, A&E or Eye Clinic/Eye Casualty by arrangement. There is a list of participating optometrists for the patient to choose from. Optometrists must, within reason, be able to offer an acute MECS examination within 24 hours of the day that the appointment has been requested by the GP or pharmacist (excluding weekends and public holidays) unless it is for routine assessment. Where this is not possible, the patient should be directed to a colleague nearby. 


MECS appintments will not usually require a refraction (unless this aids a diagnosis).


For acute, potentially sight threatening eye conditions the optometrist should arrange to see the patient on the same day or refer directly to Eye Casualty


The criteria for MECS examination may include the following acute presentations

  • Loss of vision including transient loss
  • Ocular pain
  • Differential diagnosis of red eye
  • Foreign Body and Emergency contact lens removal (not by the fitting practice)
  • Dry eye
  • Blepharitis
  • Epiphora
  • Trichiasis
  • Differential diagnosis of lumps and bumps in the vicinity of the eye
  • Recent onset flashes and floaters


Exclusion Criteria

The following cases will NOT be treated by the MECS service

  • Patients identified in advance to have severe eye conditions which need hospital attention e.g. orbital cellulitis, temporal arteritis
  • Eye problems related to herpes zoster
  • Adult squints, diplopia
  • Removal of suture
  • Patient reported symptoms that indicate a sight test is more appropriate than MECS
  • Suspected cancers of the eye (or in the vicinity of the eye)
  • Age related macular degeneration
  • Patients that have seen in the MECS service in the previous 3 months for the same condition


Patients cannot be seen or treated by the MECS service if their signs or symptoms indicate that they should be seen or managed by an alternative existing service



Practitioners – Please refer to the following resources which will provide more detailed information about this new service.


MECS presentation – updated – This will cover all aspects of the scheme and has been re-written following the MECS evening at Bradford University.

Please take the time to read this as will almost certainly address any queries that you may have, and also includes useful email addresses

There will also be an opportunity for clarification of any aspects of the MECS scheme at the AGM on the evening of Wednesday 12th June 2019. You should have received an invitation for this already.


Useful Links:


Presentation / PDF Presentation

Example record card.

Audit link

Claiming Spreadsheet


Published 02/06/2019

Updated 29/09/2020