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Medical Retina consultation clinics

Patient information A-Z

This leaflet is a guide to explain virtual assessment and face-to-face consultation clinics

Ophthalmology is a busy service in high demand. To meet the demand and expansion in medical retina cases, virtual assessment clinics were established to deliver follow-up assessment clinics the best way possible.

What is a virtual consultation clinic?

Virtual assessment within the Medical Retina services may differ from other services as you would be attending the appointment in person. The virtual aspect of the clinic is when the ophthalmologist (eye doctor) or ophthalmic clinicians (senior nurses or optometrists) review your ophthalmic images.

Virtual assessment clinics are led by Medical Retina Specialist Nurses and Orthoptists within the eye clinic. A vision test, a short questionnaire and a set of specific ophthalmic images are taken on the day of the virtual assessment clinic. You can then leave the clinic after your ophthalmic images are taken. Your ophthalmic images alongside your questionnaire and vision test will be reviewed by an ophthalmologist or an ophthalmic clinician within one week from your virtual clinic appointment.

This visit will not affect your treatment or future appointments in the eye clinic. You will receive the same level of care as you would in the routine clinics. The only difference is that during your visit you will not see an ophthalmologist or an ophthalmic clinician to discuss the results of the ophthalmic images.

The results of the virtual assessment will be either sent to you via post or uploaded to MyChart. The time you spend in the Eye Clinic will be reduced during your visit, as you do not have to wait to see an ophthalmologist or ophthalmic clinicians.

Every so often you will be requested to attend a face-to-face consultation clinic. An appointment letter will be sent out to you by post if this is needed. Not everyone is suitable for the virtual clinics. There are various reasons for an ophthalmic professional to request a face-to-face consultation with you, and the reason will be discussed with you during your return consultation appointment.

What is a face-to-face consultation clinic?

The face-to-face consultation clinic is when you attend your appointment at the Eye Clinic and see an ophthalmologist or an ophthalmic clinician after your ophthalmic imaging. During this appointment the ophthalmologist or an ophthalmic clinician will review your ophthalmic images, perform an examination of your eyes with ophthalmic equipment (such as a slit lamp) and discuss the outcome of the consultation and any other concerns related to your Eye Clinic appointment with you during the appointment before you go home.

Can you request a face-to-face consultation?

We understand that not being seen by a clinician, to discuss the outcome of the clinic assessment on the day of the visit, may cause some anxiety and stress and that some people may find it difficult to cope with the changes. We have received positive feedback from patients when we introduced virtual assessment clinics. However, if you find yourself attending a virtual assessment clinic and your queries cannot be dealt with by the Medical Retina Specialist Nurses or Orthoptists on the day, a telephone consultation with a senior clinician can be offered. The telephone consultation would be arranged for you at a later date. If this is not suitable or if you would prefer to have a face-to-face consultation for your next visit, you can request this instead.

How can you request a face-to-face consultation clinic?

You can request to have your next follow-up appointment to be face-to-face during your virtual assessment clinic. Please speak to the Medical Retina Specialist Nurses or Orthoptists who has been allocated to the clinic for that day. They will make a note in your records for this to be arranged.

Another way of requesting a face-to-face consultation is by contacting the AMD (age-related macular degeneration) clinic coordinator on 01223 254662. Your call may go to voicemail if the team is busy, do leave your name, hospital number, the reason for your call and a member of the team will action your voice message as soon as possible.

For non-appointment queries or for queries regarding non-emergency Medical Retina information please contact the Medical Retina Specialist Nurses on 01223 256672 (voice message service, working hours from Monday to Friday).

For voice message services, please leave a message with your name, date of birth, hospital number, and a brief description of your concern, and one of our members of staff will action your voice message as soon as possible.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151