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Changes to REI in September 2023

REI Email received: 15th September 2023

From the 25th September, the REI urgent care triage will be changing to a rapid access clinic (RAC) triage. The phoneline to the Nurse practitioner in triage will be accessible to healthcare professionals only, we are moving away from a walk-in service model. 

From the 25th September, the HCP line will be 01752 437692,Do not give this number to patients, unless they are receiving eye injections with us. 

If Optometrists are unable to get through on the above number, they can email their referral to: This is monitored by the Nurse practitioner in RAC. Please include the patients phone number, we will call the patient and arrange an appointment in the REI if needed. This email address is for emergency referrals only, routine and urgent referrals will be rejected. Continue to refer via DRSS for these.

The opening hours for triage is unchanged: Monday-Friday 08:30-16:45, weekends/BHs 09:00-13:00 (closed Christmas day).

Please could you share the above with Optometry practices across our area to make them aware, and update your website with the referral information above?

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust 

DLOC replied emailed: 18th September 2023

If you are a practice that delivers the Plymouth MECS then in future any patients that present that fall outside of the service protocols should be told they need to contact NHS 111, and that this is “the protocol the REI have put in place”- this is not a decision of the practice, the  LOC or Primary Care Devon.

We have been assured by the REI that they have put in place safeguards with NHS111 to ensure patients are sign posted appropriately and they will have their own referral processes for patients.

If you are unsure after an initial conversation with the patient whether they will meet the criteria for MECS then a triage should be completed in the normal fashion and the algorithms within Pharmoutcomes will advise on outcomes. If the outcomes is that the patient should not be seen in the service and need to be seen at the REI, then they should be advised of the REI protocol to contact NHS111.

For practices that are not part of the MECS service we would ask that you consider first whether a patient is suitable to be signposted to a MECS practice or falls outside of the service conditions and where appropriate should be advised to contact NHS111.”

Devon Local Optical Committee