What are Cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the normally clear lens within the eye becomes cloudy.  There are many causes, most commonly aging and UV damage.  There may come a stage when cataracts cause increasing difficulty with your day-to-day vision.  Once cataracts start interfering with daily activities, surgical treatment is usually recommended.  Your eye practitioner will advise you at that time and this scheme allows for specific assessments with regards to the suitability of cataract surgery (see below).

Cataract Referral Refinement

Cataract refinement is a scheme which can be referred into by GPs. If you believe a patient has a cataract that may be suitable for extraction, refer to a participating optometrist, who will perform a sight test, dilate the patient’s pupils, examine the intra-ocular lens and retina, and refer directly to a hospital eye department if they believe a cataract operation is indicated.

A full history including any medication the patient is taking is helpful to aid the smooth operation of this service – the optometrist may contact the patient’s GP practice to obtain this.

For further information on participating practices, please visit

Post-operative Cataract Checks

Patients across South East London can now choose to have their post-operative cataract check carried out in the community subject to satisfying certain clinical criteria. Patients will be advised of their options at the time of surgery.

For further information on participating practices, please visit