The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Acute Referral Clinic (ARC)


Working alongside Ophthalmologists we provide Specialist Optometrist support for the Acute Referral Clinics (ARC) normally at the main eye clinic based at St. James's University Hospital.

During the COVID-19 response the Optometry team continue to support emergency eye care, which is once again being delivered from the main eye clinic at the St. James's University hospital site.

Specialist optometrists, with independent prescribing, at present support the Acute Referral Clinics on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

There is more information on our Independent prescribing web page

Our aspiration is to have a Specialist Optometrist supporting each eye casualty session in time, as resources allow.

The ARC 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.

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 Clinics run every weekday, in the mornings and afternoons normally 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.


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.