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This page tells you what will happen if your GP refers you to the St Paul's Eye Unit Out-Patient clinic.

There is information about:

  • How to get there
  • What will happen when you go

Find us

The outpatient department is on the ground floor of the hospital. Once inside the main entrance walk left, past main reception. Outpatients is opposite the spectacles display.

About outpatients

The outpatient department may be your first point of contact with St Paul’s if you have been referred by your GP. There are a number of clinics and treatments delivered here and we see a lot of patients every day.

Most patients attending outpatients (except glaucoma patients) will need drops into their eyes, so we advise you not to drive to your appointment.

We also hold glaucoma outpatient clinics in the South Liverpool NHS Treatment Centre in Garston. If you would prefer to attend the Garston clinic in future let us know on 0151 706 3964.

If you are unable to attend your appointment please inform us as soon as possible.

Your outpatient appointment

Unless specified in your clinic letter, please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your appointment time. We aim to keep your waiting time as short as possible, however sometimes there are unavoidable delays due to emergencies, difficult diagnoses and late arrivals.

Please come to the outpatient reception desk - ask at the information desk in the main reception if you cannot find us. The receptionist will ask you to confirm your personal details as it is important that we have your correct name, address, phone number, GP and next of kin details.

Several clinics may be running at the same time, so the waiting areas can seem very busy, but every effort is made to ensure that you are seen on time.

You may need to see an optician, orthoptist or have a field test performed before you see the doctor, so you will be directed to the appropriate service. Once you have had any tests, you will be asked to sit in the main outpatient reception waiting area.

The nurse will then call you and perform a visual acuity test. If required they will put drops into your eyes to dilate (open) your pupils so you can be examined by the doctor. It will take 15–30 minutes for your pupils to dilate. You may also have the pressure in your eye checked.

You will then see a doctor. This may not be the same doctor on each visit. If you wish to see a particular member of the team, you can ask one of the nursing staff. We will try to accommodate your request but it is not always possible, and may also add to your waiting time.

During your consultation the doctor may send you for further tests - this may involve a return visit to the clinic. The doctor may also decide that you require surgery, and so we will arrange for you to have a pre-operative assessment either on the day or at a later date. The doctor or nurse may also give you an information leaflet about your condition.

After your appointment

After your consultation you will be given a slip to give to staff at reception. If you require an appointment for a speciality clinic or have to return within six weeks, the receptionist will book your appointment before you leave. If you require a follow-up appointment in a general clinic, and if it is needed in longer than six weeks’ time, you will be placed onto an outpatient waiting list and contacted by the St Paul’s Eye Unit call centre closer to your due date to arrange a date and time.

If you are a cataract patient who requires surgery you may need a biometry (measurement of your eye) and a pre-operative assessment on the same day. You may also be given the date for your surgery before you leave.

Eye Clinic Liaison Officer

If you or the person you care for are experiencing sight loss and need information and support, please contact our Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, Corinna Swift.

Corinna takes the line that a few words of helpful advice can often make a difficult situation easier to cope with, and can help you with:

  • Living with sight loss and maintaining independence
  • Visual aids and equipment
  • Benefits and concessions
  • Information on your eye condition
  • Referral to other support services such as local societies for people with sight loss
  • Emotional support


Contact Corinna: Monday–Friday, 9am-4.30pm

Tel: 0151 706 3995

Textphone: 18001 0151 706 3995

You can also ask a member of St Paul’s staff to direct you to her office.

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