Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Eye Hospital

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Eye emergencies

Eye emergencies (24 hours): 01865 234567

How to find the Oxford Eye Hospital

Eye Casualty telephone triage pilot

From 9 September 2019 we will be trying out a telephone triage system to direct patients who do not need to come to Eye Casualty to more appropriate services such as pharmacies, their GP, the Minor Eye Conditions Services (MECS) or Ophthalmology Outpatients.

For full details please see Ophthalmology referrals

What is an eye emergency?

  • Chemical liquids splashed in the eye.
  • An injury to the eye in which the eye ball or lids are lacerated or objects enter the eye, such as sharp instruments or metal.
  • A suddenly blind and painful eye which causes sickness and general feeling of being unwell.
  • After an eye operation, a suddenly painful, red, swollen eye in which the vision has unexpectedly deteriorated.
  • Patients following corneal graft surgery in which there is no pain, but for whom vision has rapidly deteriorated.
  • Shadows or 'curtaining' in the field of vision which is painless but may be associated with flashing lights or an increase in seeing black specks or blobs (floaters).
  • A red and painful eye associated with wearing contact lenses.
  • Painful eyes.
  • Sudden loss of vision with no other symptoms.

What is not an eye emergency?

Please see Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)

Walk-in emergency service

If your condition is urgent, and you have been experiencing symptoms for less than five days, please come to the walk-in emergency service. Bring any referral letters you have received if you previously attend your GP or optometrist as part of the Minor Eye Conditions Services (MECS).

Please note: this is not a 'first come, first serve' service: patients are triaged and the most serious cases are seen first

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
  • Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays: 8.30am - 3.30pm
  • Boxing Day and New Year's Day: 8.30am - 3.30pm (eye casualty emergency service)
  • Christmas: closed, with on-call service

If you have an urgent eye problem outside these hours, please contact your out-of-hours GP, dial 111 or come to the main Emergency Department (A&E).

GPs are able to discuss the need for urgent review with our on-call Ophthalmologist through the JR switchboard: 0300 304 7777

Find us and contact us

Please come to the Oxford Eye Hospital at the John Radcliffe Hospital (West Wing entrance, up the escalator and turn right).

Eye emergencies (24 hours): 01865 234567

How to find the John Radcliffe Hospital

Oxfordshire Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)

This free NHS service is available to people aged more than six years in Oxfordshire and registered with an Oxfordshire GP.

Conditions treated include:

  • dry, gritty, irritable and uncomfortable eyes
  • foreign body in the eye
  • red eye or eyelids
  • ingrowing eyelashes
  • watery discharge
  • recent and sudden changes in vision.

Contact a MECS registered optician in your area, who will assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service.

MECS registered opticians are listed here:

This service is not for major eye conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, but can refer patients to other services if necessary or urgent.