MECS at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee


Staffordshire Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)

The Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) provides assessment and treatment for people with recently occurring eye related symptoms and minor eye conditions.

The service is provided by specially trained and accredited MECS optometrists and opticians.

Eye-related symptoms and minor eye conditions that can be treated by the service include:


o    Red eye

o    Eyelid lumps and bumps

o    Dry eye gritty and uncomfortable eyes

o    Irritation and inflammation of the eye

o    Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye

o    Recently occurring flashes and floaters

o    Painful eye

o    Ingrowing eyelashes

o    Recent and sudden loss of vision

o    Foreign body in the eye or abrasion/scratch

If you are unsure whether your symptoms can be assessed and treated by the service, please contact one of the participating opticians practices who will advise you. For some eye and eyesight problems, a sight test will be more appropriate than a MECS.


Who is the service for?

The service is for people registered with a GP surgery in North Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Cannock Chase, Stafford and Surrounds and South East Staffordshire & Seisdon Peninsular. Unfortunately it hasn’t been commissioned in East Staffordshire (Burton and Uttoxeter) yet, but Staffordshire Local Optical Committee continues to press for this, and hopefully it will just be a matter of time.

It is for people of all ages - adults and children. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult.


How do I book an appointment with the service?

The service is provided by a number of MECS registered optometrists and opticians across these areas. 

A list of participating South Staffordshire opticians practices can be found here.

A list of participating North Staffordshire opticians practices can be found here.

You can contact a practice directly (self-refer) to make an appointment. When you contact the optometric practice, you will be asked some questions about your symptoms in order to assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service. You may also be referred into the service by your GP, GP practice care navigator, pharmacist, A&E or other health professional. 

Depending on your symptoms, you will be seen within 24 hours or within 14 days.


What will happen at my appointment?

The optometrist will discuss your eye history and the symptoms you are experiencing. You will receive an assessment, be given advice and treatment appropriate to your symptoms. You may need a follow-up appointment, and if so, this will be booked at the end of your first appointment. 

If your condition requires referral to an ophthalmologist the MECS practitioner will arrange this. 

Please take your glasses and a list of your current medication with you to the appointment. The optometrist may put drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils in order to get a better view inside your eyes. You should not drive until the effects of these drops have worn off, which may take up to 6 hours. 

Appointments are available during normal working hours. Some optometry practices offer appointments in evenings and at the weekend.


How can I check if my GP is covered by Staffordshire MECS?

If your GP practice is close to the border with another area, please use the relevant link below to check if your GP surgery is one of those covered by Staffordshire MECS or not.


Any comments about your care under Staffordshire MECS?

We would be very grateful for any feedback you could provide about the care and treatment you have received under Staffordshire MECS. Please feel free to contact Mark McCracken (Clinical Governance and Performance Lead for Staffordshire MECS) at


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