New Cross Eye Referral Unit (ERU) Opening Hours 6th April 2020 at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

New Cross Eye Referral Unit (ERU) Opening Hours 6th April 2020

Staffordshire LOC has received the following information about New Cross Eye Referral Unit (ERU) opening hours from Nicola Thomas-Hands, Directorate Manager.  This information will be useful to all South Staffordshire practices who are still open


Due to a 73% reduction in emergency attendances within the Eye Referral Unit, the decision has been made to temporarily reduce the hours of the ERU service. We envisage the reduced hours will remain in place for the month of April and potentially May 2020 which we will continue to monitor throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


From Monday 6th April 2020 ERU’s opening hours will be;


Monday - Fridays 09:00 – 16.30hrs

HOWEVER: the last emergency patient will be accepted in ERU up to 15:30hrs. The cut off time of 15:30hrs will then allow time for ALL patients within ERU to be seen, treated & discharged before the department closes at 16:30hrs


Saturdays / Sundays / Bank Holidays 09:00 – 15:00hrs

HOWEVER: the last emergency patient will be accepted in ERU up to 14:00hrs. The cut off time of 14:00hrs will allow time for the patients to be seen, treated & discharged before the department closes at 15:00hrs.


As per current arrangements ALL patients will be seen and treated and NOT handed back to ED when the department closes. 


Outside of ERU operating hours, if an emergency patient requires Ophthalmology review and they cannot wait to return to ERU the following day, then the on-call Ophthalmologist will be contacted by ED as per current arrangements and this pathway won’t change. 


We will need to ensure that that all key stakeholders are made aware of the new temporary hours. 


EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION: (Commissioners, Optometrists, GPs, Stafford & Walsall Hospital, local walk in centres) will be informed by the Trust’s Communication Team informing them of the temporary change to ERU opening times and remind them that any patients that they feel would benefit from an urgent same day emergency assessment should be directed to ERU and not ED between the revised hours as detailed above. Commissioners & NHS England will be asked to notify GPs & Optoms of the temporary change in ERU opening times.


PATIENT COMMUNICATION: We are exploring avenues that patients can be informed via social media and various signs / notices across the Trust (TBC) stating the temporary ERU hours.


The ERU (ARC) clinics will also be operational for the same hours as above.

Thank you for your continued support


Nicola Thomas-Hands

Directorate Manager


Ophthalmology Directorate

Building A33

New Cross Hospital

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