The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute referral (Eye casualty)

A team of Ophthalmologists, Specialist Optometrists and nurses provide Acute Referral (Eye Casualty) clinics at the main eye clinic based at St. James's University Hospital.

The Acute referral (Eye Casualty) Service is for patients with eye problems which are either Accidents or Emergencies; if you feel your condition is not this urgent please arrange an appointment with your GP or see your own optician who can refer you if necessary. NHS direct can be contacted if you are unsure whether your condition is an emergency or not.

The Consultant Ophthalmologist lead for this service is Mr John Buchan.

Routine ophthalmology outpatients appointments were cancelled from Monday the 23rd of March 2020 and restarted from Tuesday the 26th of May 2020 and we are now seeing a reduced number of routine patients . 

We have been accepting routine referrals again from July 2020.

The Ophthalmology consultants continue to identify and prioritise new and follow up patients on the basis of clinical need. 

We are contacting patients to arrange appropriate appointments in order of their clinical need.

Please be aware that, due to the backlog caused by the COVID-10 response, this means that our less urgent new and follow up patients will regrettably have a longer wait for an appointment than usual.

All elective ophthalmology surgery and non urgent procedures remain limited due to the coronavirus.

Ophthalmology and Optometry have now moved back into the eye clinic in Chancellors wing having temporarily moved out from Monday the 6th of April 2020 to release space for the emergency department.

The Ophthalmology team continues to provide emergency eye care, in the Acute referral clinics (ARC) which is once again being delivered from the main eye clinic at the St. James's University hospital site.

How do I make an appointment with this service?

To be seen in the clinic you must usually be referred by your GP, or your community optometrist for an acute eye problem.


Acute referral or eye casualty clinics normally run every weekday, in the mornings and afternoons in the main eye clinic, ground floor, Chancellors wing at St. James's University Hospital. Patients requiring assessment out of hours will normally be seen by the Ophthalmologist on call.

The Ophthalmology team is continuing to provide emergency eye care, in the Acute referral clinics (ARC) in the main eye clinic at the St. James's University hospital site.

Waiting times

Please be aware that as this is an acute service you can wait up to four hours to be seen from the time you book in for your appointment.

There is more information on our ARC service in our Patient leaflet on our ARC service.