NHS Frequently asked Questions

Below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about our NHS services.

Please bring all the pairs of glasses that you frequently wear and a copy of your most recent prescription if you have it. It is also useful for us to know about other medications that you are taking so it’s worth noting these down before your appointment in case your consultant asks for this information. If you take Warfarin, please also bring your INR book.

We have a spacious waiting room with comfortable seating. To ensure we have enough space for all patients, we ask that you only bring one person with you to the appointment.

We have free onsite parking available. On arrival, please ask at the hospital reception for assistance with a parking permit.

Yes there are allocated bays for disabled parking and disabled access. Please ensure you have your blue badge clearly displayed. If you need assistance from your car to the hospital entrance then please let us know in advance.

It is possible for your GP to arrange transport to Optegra, subject to meeting their criteria. You should contact your surgery in the first instance to discuss the options available.

Options for public transport will vary according to your location. We have detailed information about travel options on our website www.optegra.com.

You cannot drive to your appointment as it is likely that you will be given eye drops to dilate your pupils, and these can make your vision blurry for up to six hours afterwards.

While your consultation and subsequent surgery will take place in our five-star hospital setting, this is still an NHS service and therefore free of charge.

You will have an initial appointment with our clinical team for an initial consultation to discuss your procedure and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. After this appointment, the surgery will be scheduled for between two and six weeks later.

Please allow up to two hours for your appointment.

If you think you will require assistance during your appointment or have a carer and would like them to attend the appointment with you, then please speak to a receptionist on arrival. We will do our best to accommodate your wishes.

No, you will have your surgeries on two separate dates. One of our optometrists will complete a post-operative check four-six weeks after the first cataract is removed, and once this report has been received your second surgery will be scheduled.

We understand that circumstances can change and you may need to change your original appointment. If so, please contact us on 02075094186 or optegra.bookings@nhs.net as soon as possible. You will be placed back on the NHS waiting list and will be sent a new appointment as soon as one becomes available.

It can take up to six hours for the dilation drops to wear off so you should not drive during this time. This is why we advise arranging for someone to bring you to your appointment or travelling on public transport. After your surgery appointment, it can take up to 48 hours for your eyes to settle and you should not drive until you can clearly see a number plate 20 metres ahead.

We will arrange your surgery for just two-six weeks after consultation.

If you have run out of eye drops and require some more, please call our clinical line on 020 7509 4186 (lines open from 8am – 5pm). We can arrange for drops to be sent to you or you can collect them from the hospital.

Most cataract patients are given a shield to take home, which protects your eye and keeps it as clean as possible. We recommend leaving the shield on overnight for one week, unless your surgeon has advised you otherwise.

Recovery time from cataract surgery will vary depending on the patient, but on average it takes four-six weeks for your eye to settle down and adjust.

Most cataract patients can return to work after around three days. If you work in a dusty or smoky environment, however, it is recommended to delay return to work by two weeks.

We recommend you wait at least one week before taking a short haul flight, and two weeks before going on a medium/long haul flight (three hours or more).