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PEOPLE suffering minor eye problems in the Colchester and Tendring area are able to receive a free NHS optical check-up at a local participating optician.

The Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) - available at a number of high-street settings in the Colchester and Tendring districts - can treat patients with eye problems such as red, sore or watery eyes, ingrowing eyelashes, visual disturbances and much more.

The eye check-ups - which are different and separate from a sight test - offer people the convenience of receiving treatment in their local high street without needing a doctor’s appointment or attending Accident and Emergency (A&E).

Depending on the condition, many people can be seen for minor treatment within 24 hours in urgent cases and within a few days for routine appointments. It is believed that currently around 4.5 million doctor’s appointments and 270,000 A&E visits are taken up every year for eye related problems, many of which could be assessed by an optician.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, Chairman at North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and GP at Creffield Medical Centre in Colchester, said: “We are delighted that the new MECS service can now become the first port of call for anyone with a minor eye condition.

“Local opticians have the skills, equipment and qualified staff to ensure that people are quickly assessed and treated - or in some cases referred to hospital if there is a more serious problem. Obviously this will be more convenient for people but it will also help reduce the pressure on the NHS at the same time.”

For more information about the service and participating practices please visit the NEE CCG website.

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NOTE TO EDITORS

 

North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG):

 

The NEE CCG was formally established on 1 April 2013. The CCG is a clinically led organisation which comprises 40 GP practices across Colchester and Tendring.

 

It is responsible for commissioning most health services for the people of North East Essex, including hospital care, community health services, mental health services, learning disability services and urgent and emergency care, excluding primary care.

 

Media enquiries: For more information please contact the CCG Communications team on (01206) 918653 or email NEECCG.comms@nhs.net.