Direct Referral

In 2004,  St Helens  and Knowsley PCTs set up a direct referral system for local optometrists to refer patients  to the Eye Department of St Helens hospital, part of St Helens & Knowsley NHS trust.

It is hoped that the scheme can be expanded to cover other hospital trusts in  the  area.  

In Warrington and Halton, optometrists have referred direct to the HES for many years. All patients are seen at a triage clinic at North Cheshire NHS Trust within 2 weeks.


There are Wet AMD services available locally at St Helens and Warrington eye departments. Local optometrists are encouraged to refer rapidly to these services where they suspect the presence of wet AMD. This page includes versions of the AMD atlas document, where the referral form can be printed already with the required fax number. If faxed directly, the service will contact the patient and arrange an initial assessment  within  2 weeks.


The documents  used by  local optometrists are available on this page.  Most of them  are generic documents and could, therefore be used by optometrists in other areas.

  • St Helens Wet AMD referral form
  • Warrington Wet AMD referral form
  • Electronic Referral form
  • NICE Referral Proforma
  • Referral Guidance
  • Referral Spreadsheet with links
  • Electronic GOS18
  • Referral criteria for Warrington optometrists
  • Referral routes for Warrington optometrists

Referral Form

Optometrists use an electronic Referral pro-forma. This allows each referral letter to be typed, printed and saved as a unique file on the practice PC.

There is also an electronic GOS18 available for referrals to non-participating trusts.  

Referral Guidance

The LOC has now developed new guidance on optometric referrals. There is a document with advice on making more appropriate referrals and an Excel spreadsheet, which has liknk to internet pages for each condition mentioned.  These links allow differential diagnosis, patient information or links to support groups. The spreadsheet  is an evolving document  and the  LOC Adviser  would welcome any assistance in updating and improving  it.  

Contact Us

If you have any comments to make or want more information, please contact the LOC adviser, Bob Wilkes