Mid & South Bucks (Bucks CCG)

Information updated in February 2021

 

The information below relates to routine referrals for patients with a GP in the Bucks CCG area. Please also see our urgent & emergency services page.

(If you’re unsure which CCG area applies, check the lists available here.)

 

All routine referrals, except for cataract and IOP refinement (see below), should be emailed to Operose Health (formerly The Practice: Ophthalmology). The email address for routine referrals (only from another nhs.net address) is thepractice.cats@nhs.net. During the coronavirus pandemic, cases will be dealt with initially by telephone assessment. 

10th February 2021 - Operose have updated us today to advise that they continue to run face-to-face and telephone/video consultations. The average wait for either of these or for diagnostics is four weeks. Minor ops clinics have recommenced and are held approximately monthly, in accordance with demand.

 

Operose Health may be contacted by email: iwona.ngody@operosehealth.co.uk for general queries (no patient data). Patient-specific queries may be sent (only from another nhs.net address) to thepractice.cats@nhs.net or eyes.operosehealth@nhs.net.

 

Remember that you should only email your referrals from an address ending in @nhs.net. Every health professional is personally responsible for protecting patient data, and referrals sent from other email addresses will not be secure. If your practice doesn’t have an nhs.net email address, please check our website here for information on how to get one. 

 

 

For more detailed local information on referral pathways in Mid & South Bucks, please download the Eyecare Pathways Mid & South Bucks document from this page. The latest version was posted in January 2021, and this should be displayed in every consulting room. Please also refer regularly to other information on this page, and look out for email updates.

 

Direct cataract referral scheme

Cataract referral for any patient with a GP in the Buckinghamshire CCG area should only be made on the direct cataract referral form (download from this page) by an optometrist accredited to do so. Optometrists not accredited should refer to an accredited colleague. For information on how to gain accreditation, download the document from this page. Please refer also to the most recent cataract referrals threshold document, issued by Bucks PCT in October 2011, but reviewed and approved by BHT in 2019. 

 

Visit our news section for the latest (February 2021) information on cataract surgery at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

 

Direct cataract referral forms may now be emailed to Stoke Mandeville Hospital: bht.cataractreferrals@nhs.net (only from an nhs.net account).

 

Invoices for direct cataract referrals must be sent to Wakefield and addressed to Bucks CCG. A template invoice is available to download from this page. Please note that invoices should not contain any information which could identify the patient, eg NHS number, but should include the GP practice code, which usually begins with the letter K (eg for Amersham Health Centre it is K82004). A list of CCG GP member practices with their practice codes is also available for download. Invoices should be sent on a monthly basis, and not saved up to be sent in batches.

 

Referring cataracts to other providers

Patients may exercise their right of choice, and be seen outside the area. The NHS website has a search tool which can provide current waiting times for local service providers.

Bucks CCG has confirmed (October 2020) that you may send the direct cataract referral (DCR) form to an alternative NHS provider and invoice Bucks CCG in the usual way. However, for the fee to be paid, the alternative provider must accept direct (one-stop) cataract referrals. Most NHS hospitals will do this, but some clinics (eg Optegra, SpaMedica) do not, so no DCR fee will be paid in these circumstances. You are therefore advised to check this with the provider.

  

 

 

Glaucoma

Following NICE guideline NG81 (November 2017) ophthalmologists working in Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust agreed the following:

  • Patients should now be referred to Operose Health on IOP >= 24 mm Hg (instead of the previous threshold of >21 mm Hg), in the absence of any other signs. 

(The Bucks IOP repeat readings scheme ceased in October 2020.)

 

The information on referral pathways is intended to be helpful rather than definitive, and there may be a delay in updating information when pathways change. For urgent or emergency referrals we recommend practitioners confirm the provider has received the referral and/or give clear advice to patients on what action to take if they have not been contacted within an appropriate time frame.