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Eye Health Examination Wales - EHEW

Information for Optometrists

Optometrists or Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners (OMPs) are the gatekeepers for the service. The following information is for optometrists or OMPs. Guidance for other healthcare providers can be found below. The service details, protocols and guidelines are all found within the EHEW Manual. This can be downloaded at the bottom of the page in the Key Document Downloads section.

How to become registered to offer the service

In order to be registered to be able to provide the service, both the optometrist or OMP wishing to offer the service and the practice where the service will be operating from must be EHEW registered with the NHS Shared Services Partnership (NHS SSP). For registration enquiries please contact NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (SSP) via e-mail -


Once registered, accreditation is required for each individual wanting to offer the service. Accreditation involves distance learning and practical based assessments.  Accreditation for the service is carried out by the Wales Optometric Postgraduate Centre (WOPEC). To register for accreditation, please contact or You can do this in advance of registration and you will receive further details about obtaining the training and the practical assessment. Training takes place every 3 months in Wales and takes place in different locations in Wales.

Rules governing who will be considered for accreditation (if there are limited places)

  • If they practice in an area of identified need*.
  • If they are a sole or first practitioner registered to provide training at that practice address

Subsequent applications will be allocated on a first come first served basis

*Identified need is where there are no services or only 1 service within a 10-mile radius (figure arrived at by less than average time based on previous evaluation in all areas)


More about EHEW regulations and guidelines

The EHEW service uses Banding to categorise what examinations may be performed on patients. For more information, please see the EHEW Manual in the Key document downloads section below.

The following outlines the Banding:


This examination is for patients who have eye problems of an acute nature, those who would find losing their sight particularly difficult or those who are at increased risk of developing sight-threatening conditions. It can also be used to accept referrals from another healthcare provider.

BAND 2 - Further investigation/ examinations

These examinations enable patients to have additional investigations following a GOS or Private sight test only. They can only be used to further inform or prevent onward referral to the hospital eye service.

BAND 3 - EHEW follow-up examination

A Band 3 examination enables a patient to be followed-up after they have had an initial appointment for an EHEW Band 1 or for a post-operative cataract check.

Please read the EHEW manual for full details

EHEW forms

The following forms are used by the service. They can all be ordered in hard copy by contacting NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (SSP) via e-mail -

  • WECS1 form 2020  – This is the form that serves as the payment and audit form.
  • WECS2 2020 – This is an electronic copy of the form used to notify or refer to a GP
  • WECS3 2020 – This is the form for referring to the Hospital Eye Service.

CatQuest 9SF – These are the Cataract questionnaire pre and post-operative forms. Please note they will be replaced by a newer CatPROMS 5 form in the near future.

Payment and Post payment verification (PPV) enquiries

For payment, PPV and registration enquiries please contact NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (SSP) via e-mail:


Information for GPs and other eye care providers

EHEW is unique to Wales and offers eye examinations for patients with an acute eye problem that needs urgent attention or those at increased risk of eye disease or who would find losing their sight particularly difficult.

The EHEW service is available for patients by visiting an EHEW-registered optometrist practice in Wales and is free at the point of access eye examination for patients.

Patients with eye problems often attend their GP. One aim of the WECS service is to direct many of these patients to optometrists when it is appropriate to do so. We do advise that wherever possible and appropriate that a short note with the reason for the referral is given to the patient to take to the optometrist.

Please note that when a patient is seen at an optometry practice, they will be triaged to determine which service would be most appropriate for the patient and how soon they should be seen. This may result in the patient being offered an appointment at a later date.

If you wish to organise a training session about WECS for GPS in your area we would be keen to hear from you. Please contact

What patients do I send to an EHEW-registered optometrist?

  • Any patient experiencing eye problems that need urgent (within 24 hours) attention.
  • Any patient that you suspect has an eye problem that would benefit from examination by an optometrist.
  • Some patients who would be eligible for a WECS because they have an increased risk of eye disease are:  

Patients who are at risk of eye disease due to ethnic background

Epidemiological research has shown that a patient with an ethnic background that is Asian or Black / African / Caribbean are at greater risk of Diabetes Mellitus and Glaucoma compared to White or other ethnic groups, including those of mixed ethnicity. Therefore, patients that have confirmed they belong to these ethnic groups (and by association those who are Asian British or Black British) are at greater risk of sight-threatening eye disease.

Who do I send patients to?

Practices that offer EHEW are detailed on this website and can be found using the search function. A list of those practices that offer Low Vision Service Wales can also be found using this search function.

What happens to the patients you refer?

Optometrists will send you a standardised written report within 2-3 days if the patient is seen under an EHEW.

A fax or telephone call will be provided on the same day if the patient requires an urgent referral to the HES. The hospital eye service will feed back to the optometrist and the patient’s GP as normal with an information or discharge letter.


Key Documents To Download

To download any of these documents, please click on them. Please note all the forms below can be ordered from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (SSP) via e-mail: