Examinations are tailored to suit each individuals needs and can take between 30 to 60 minutes. If you think you have any special requirements or need special advice, please let our receptionist know when you book your examination. Your eye test will be provided by a registered qualified Optometrist (ophthalmic optician). All are professionally trained and provide excellent service with a high level of care for the individual needs of the patient. All aspects of your visual requirements and the health of your eyes inside and out are assessed. We aim to communicate your needs in a non- technical clear and concise way.  Regardless of your circumstances, NHS and Private patients are all treated with the same quality of care.  Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Retinal Photography is available to all patients at an additional charge.


Are you a patient who is entitled to an examination paid for by the NHS? (this has been copied for the NHS web site) You will be asked to bring in evidence to support your claim.

 You qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:

  • you’re aged under 16
  • you’re aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education
  • you’re aged 60 or over
  • you’re registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)
  • you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • you’re 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • you’ve been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • you’re a prisoner on leave from prison
  • you’re eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement

You’re also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • are awarded Universal Credit
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • you are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

Minor Eye Conditions Appointments 

What is the HMR Minor Eye Conditions’ Service (MECS)?

The HMR Minor Eye Conditions’ Service provides assessment and treatment for people with recently occurring minor eye conditions.

The service is provided by MECS accredited optometrists (also known as opticians) across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale who have specialist knowledge, training and skills. 

Minor eye conditions that can be treated by the service include:

  • red eye or eyelids
  • dry eye gritty and uncomfortable eyes
  • irritation and inflammation of the eye
  • significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • recently occurring flashes and floaters
  • painful eye
  • ingrowing eyelashes
  • recent and sudden loss of vision
  • foreign body in the eye 

If you are unsure whether your symptoms can be assessed and treated by the service, please contact one of the participating optometry practices who will advise you.

NOTE: If you have an eye condition that is being regularly monitored by your optometrist or hospital eye service, this will not be covered by MECS; for example cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.

Who is the service for?

The service is for people registered with a GP in Heywood, Middleton or Rochdale. 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 across HMR. A list of participating optometrists can be found in this leaflet.

You telephone an approved optometrist directly (self-refer) to make an appointment. On contacting the optometry practice, you will be asked some questions about your symptoms in order to assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service. Depending on your symptoms, you will be seen within 24 hours or 5 working days.) Appointments are available during normal working hours. Some optometry practices offer appointments at the weekend. If you require a Minor Eye Conditions appointment outside of our business hours please follow this link www.hmrmecs.co.uk  for alternative MECS practitioners.

Digital Retinal Photography

This 2d imaging system gives your optometrist a clearer large magnified picture of the back of the eye (the retina). Your optometrist will use this image to determine the health and condition of your eye and enables the image to be stored for future reference.

Our practice also provides

  • OCT Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Retinal Photography
  • diabetes screening
  • contact lens assessments and aftercare
  • vdu examinations
  • dedicated charts and tools for children
  • nhs and private patients are welcome
  • glaucoma testing