CROYDON COMMUNITY OPHTHALMOLOGY SERVICE (COS)

WHAT IS COS?

COS is a service which is run by Complete Ophthalmic Services CIC (a company formed by the Croydon Local Optical Committee).

COS is a free service and is available to all patients 5 years and above who have a Croydon GP. The aim of COS is to provide patients who are experiencing recently occurring eye conditions, suspected cataracts or glaucoma with treatment and advice closer to home.

COS is provided by local optometrists with the knowledge and skills to carry out this work at locally approved optician practices.

HOW DO I ACCESS COS?

You can access COS by going to one of the approved practices who are involved in the service. The list of those practices is contained with the section ‘Practices Involved’. We have thirteen opticians practices involved and one domiciliary provider who can visit people in their own home if they are unable to get out because of health reasons. Please be aware that your normal optometrist may have chosen not to offer this service.

You can contact any of these approved practices directly to make an appointment and ask to be seen under COS. Appointments are available during normal working hours.

Alternatively, if you make an appointment to see your GP, he or she may refer you to an approved optometrist for further assessment and possibly treatment.

EYE CONDITIONS TREATED UNDER COS

The service is designed for recently occurring medical eye conditions which people may be experiencing.  These could include:

  • Recent reduction in vision in one or both eyes
  • Red eye(s) or eye lids
  • Pain or discomfort in the eyes, around the eye area or temple
  • Recent onset or sudden increase of flashers and/or floaters in one or both eyes
  • Mild trauma, for example a scratch to the outer surface of the eye(s) or lid(s)
  • Suspected foreign body in the eye
  • Recent onset of double vision
  • Significant recent discharge from or watering of the eye
However, if you are unsure whether your symptoms qualify, please contact one of the approved practices who would be happy to advise you.

EYE CONDITIONS NOT TREATED UNDER COS

If you have any of the following conditions a COS optometrist will not be able to treat you and you must go directly to your nearest Accident and Emergency department.

  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Considerable eye pain
  • Significant trauma, such as a penetrating injury or lacerations to the eye(s)
  • Chemical injury or burns
  • Problems arising from recent eye surgery

Also, if you have an eye condition that is being monitored regularly by your normal optometrist or hospital eye service, such as cataracts, glaucoma or dry eye, this will not be covered under COS.

Please note: Children under 5 years cannot be seen under COS.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I SEE THE OPTOMETRIST?

At your appointment the optometrist will discuss your eye history, the symptoms you may be experiencing and any related medical history. You will receive an eye assessment relevant to your symptoms.
Please take a list of all current medications if you are taking any and your up-to-date glasses with you to the appointment.
As a result of the consultation, you may be:
  • Given appropriate treatment by the optometrist (this may include a follow-up appointment)
  • Referred to your GP for appropriate treatment if your eye condition is related to your general health
  • Referred to a community ophthalmologist for further assessment
  • Referred directly to the hospital eye service if your eye condition is more serious
Following your appointment, the optometrist will notify your GP about the outcome of your consultation to ensure your medical records are updated. Please be assured however that your information will be held confidentially.
Please note:
  • You may not be able to drive immediately after your examination
  • This service does not replace the routine eye examination, eye test or prescription for glasses – a sight test will not be performed as part of the assessment.

COMPLAINT, COMPLIMENT OR COMMENT?

It is important we ensure that we are offering the people of Croydon a good service and we therefore value your opinion.
If you have a concern, complaint, comment or would like to leave a compliment about the service you have received, please contact us:
Email: LCH.cosoffice@nhs.net  Phone: 020 7193 1665
We will use any feedback we receive to evaluate the service and make improvements if necessary.