The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


The Neuro-ophthalmology team diagnoses, monitors and treats conditions that affect the neurological control of the visual system, including vision, control of eye movement and pupillary reflexes.

Patients who are referred to the neuro-ophthalmology department often have other long-term medical conditions. 

The team comprises Ophthalmologists, nurses, orthoptists and Medical Illustration staff.

Patients attending the clinic will usually have their vision checked, they may need a visual field test, which involves looking at faint dots on a screen.   Patients with double vision (diplopia) may need to be assessed by an orthoptist, who is a specialist at assessing and measuring problems with double vision.  Patients may need to have eye drops to dilate the pupils, and this can make the vision blurry for a few hours.  Patients should not plan to drive home after a visit to the neuro-ophthalmology clinic. Depending on the findings, patients may need other tests such as photographs of the back of the eyes, a special head scan to look at the nerves behind the eyes, or blood tests.   

Treatment depends on the underlying condition.  Many patients will be sent on to other specialists such as neurologists, cardiologists, vascular surgeons, or rheumatologists, depending on what the problem is.     

The Neuro-ophthalmology Consultant Ophthalmologist is Mr Oliver Backhouse.


Recovery plan

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 are being delivered from the refractive unit (St. James's Laser Vision) next to the main eye clinic at the St. James's University hospital site at present.


How do I make an appointment with this service?

To be seen in the clinic you must usually be referred by your GP, optometrist or ophthalmologist.


Normally these clinics run throughout the week in the main Eye clinic, Ground floor, Chancellor wing, St. James's University Hospital.


Waiting times

Please be aware that you may have a series of examinations from a range of clinicians and your appointment may take up to two hours to be completed from the time your appointment is booked.