First Choice Eyecare:

Consortium of Community Optometrists

First Choice Eye Care (FCEC) is the name of the Consortium of Optometrists approved as the provider to bridge the ‘capacity gap’ at Blackpool Victoria NHS Trust, in conjunction with Blackpool and North Lancs PCTs.

This service can be accessed via several routes, these being:


  1. Self referral – by presenting at one of the approved practices with symptoms
  2. From their General Practitioner by being offered the choice from a list of participating optometrists, (if the GP feels that it could be appropriate for the patient to be seen in the Community rather than being referred directly to the Secondary sector)
  3. Being referred to a FCEC optometrist by an optometrist who is not one of the approved

All patients will normally be seen within 3 or 4 working days, except for emergencies, which will be dealt with on the day of referral. Each patient will be given an appointment to thoroughly investigate their complaint, and will be given either written instructions or an information leaflet on the condition diagnosed. Following assessment, the General Practitioner will also be notified of the diagnosed condition, along with any suggested course of treatment or follow up.

A full Audit trail will be established so that detailed analysis of outcomes etc can be monitored.
The advantages of this scheme are:


  1. More accessible for patients
  2. Better use of Primary Care facilities, and Core Skills of Optometrists
  3. Shorter Waiting times than can be offered by Secondary Care
  4. More refined referral information for those patients needing to move into the secondary sector following assessment
  5. Cost savings around PBC for GPs


The Consortium has 24 practices involved

For any further information please contact one of the board members below:

Chair: Peter Howard

Administrator: Teresa Broadhurst, Ivy Farmhouse, Thistleton Rd, Thistleton Preston PR4 3XA.
01995 671935 or Mike Broadhurst

First Choice eye Care Practices / Practitioners
Download the GP Referral Letter


Please find an up to date GP list (Nov13)

On sheet 1 is the original list.
On all the other tabs, you can see the other areas have been separated, each area having 2 tabs.
The first tab for each area sorts the GP practices by code, the 2nd tab for each area sorts by GP surname.