Community Enhanced Services provided at the Opticians

What are Community Enhanced Services?

In an effort to provide more accurately focussed care for those with visual problems the Government created through local and regional CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) now forming ICBs (Integrated Care Boards) a series of enhanced services that Optometrists in local optical practices can be accredited to provide to the local community.

These will continue in the new era of ICBs with integrated care hopefully reaching out to include social care as well as the patient journey in eye health.

It has been proven that those with the correct competencies and knowledge in specialist fields like eye care can offer a more complete service and ensure that if you need to see someone in secondary care you will be referred more appropriately to the correct clinic.

This has saved money and time at the secondary care stage allowing hospitals to perform more complex tasks on an ever increasing work load through an ageing population and to use their new found ability to treat previously impossible eye defects like “wet AMD”.

Not all regions have agreed all or any commissioning pathways for eye care but most now have and there are a large number of pathways that are available in some areas and not others. However this is clearly the route forward as a key benefit of implementing these community services is a reduction in referral rates to GPs, A&E and hospital eye departments.

In many pathways the routes to help are by self referral to the designated optical practice or by referral by a GP or another Optician’s practice to an opticians accredited to supply the service.  plans to simplify your search for such areas where enhanced services exist by requesting practitioners to highlight their involvement in specific community services and for Local Optical Committees who oversee the localised agreements to publish details of their scheme.The new site is being overhauled at present.

You can then search as 1000’s do each day in our “Find My Optician” application for your local area pathways or for specific practitioners who provide the service.

You may be asking why these services are not included in the standard eye examination. Quite simply the NHS funded sight test provided to over 65% of the population is free to them but funded by the NHS. The funding figure for a standard sight test cannot cover the additional time, knowhow and equipment needed. This is why additional tests outside of an enhanced community service are either paid for locally or charged individually. The setting up of local and regional services allows for local CCGs to pay your professional to carry out many of these services for you.

Click below to read about the individual services available with a broad description of how they work.


  • Community Cataract Post-op
  • Community Cataract Referral

Children’s eyecare

  • Community Children’s Screening

Glaucoma related services

  • Community Glaucoma Refinement
  • Community Repeat Readings Readings
  • Community OHT Monitoring
  • Community Glaucoma Monitoring

Community Learning Disabilities

Community Low Vision Services

Acute Eye problems

  • Community Ophthalmology Triage
  • Community PEARS Referrals
  • Community ACES Referrals