If you are on our waiting list for an operation or procedure; learn about what we are doing to reduce our waiting list and some guidance around how to prepare for your surgery while you wait.

We can provide treatment and support if you have any of these conditions:

  • age related macular degeneration including wet macular degeneration
  • cataract
  • corneal and external eye conditions
  • cysts
  • external eye disease
  • glaucoma
  • ocular motility
  • medical retina including diabetic retinopathy
  • retinal conditions
  • squint

We perform the following surgeries:

  • cataract
  • cornea
  • glaucoma
  • laser treatment (YAG capsulotomy)
  • oculoplastic/orbits/lacrimal
  • vitreo-retinal

If you're referred to Ophthalmology, we'll invite you in for an assessment. During your appointment, we may have to do a few tests. Some of these tests require us to use eye drops that dilate your pupils so the specialist can examine your eyes fully. These might sting for a few seconds.

Once we’ve completed our assessment, we’ll go through your options in detail and together we’ll decide on the best treatment option for you. If you need surgery this will take place at either Cumberland Infirmary or West Cumberland Hospital.

Patients that need to stay in hospital because of eye problems will be admitted to the wards that are shared with other head and neck specialties.

You might also get invited to follow up appointments for:

  • post surgery eye care
  • further vision tests

Contact lens clinic

If you have a corneal condition such as keratoconus and have a medical need to wear contact lenses, you’ll be referred by your consultant to this clinic. These clinics are run by our head optometrist. During the clinic you’ll be assessed and fitted with contact lenses to improve your vision.

Corneal clinic

If you have a problem with the front of your eye (the cornea) your GP can refer you to this clinic. During your appointment you’ll be assessed by a doctor. This may include diagnostic imaging, such as corneal topography, to see if you need medical or surgical correction.

Diabetic eye clinic

This is an annual screening service for anyone over the age of 12 who has diabetes. The screening test detects eye problems caused by diabetes, before they start to affect your sight. Find out more about Diabetic Eye Screening.

Glaucoma clinic

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma or you’re at risk of developing the condition, you’ll be referred to this clinic for an assessment and support with ongoing management. Clinics are held in community locations as well as hospital and you’ll be seen by a consultant, speciality doctor, nurse practitioner or optometrist.

During the appointment we’ll check the pressure in your eyes, your field of vision and look at the optic nerve at the back of your eye. Depending on your circumstances you’ll attend these clinics either every 6 or 12 months.

Lacrimal clinic

If you have watery eyes you can ask your GP or optician to refer you to this clinic. During the clinic we’ll assess the cause of your condition and give you advice on how to manage it and improve your symptoms. If you need surgery to correct your condition we’ll discuss this option in detail and decide on the best way forward.

Low vision clinic

If you’ve been registered as visually impaired or you have problems with reading, you can ask your GP or optometrist to refer you to this clinic. If you’ve been seen by us before you can call us directly to organise an appointment. During your appointment you’ll be seen by our orthoptist who can help you manage or correct your vision. This may include eye patches, eye exercises, prisms or glasses.

Medical retinal clinic

If you have a problem with the back of your eye (retina) due to blood vessels, diabetes or age related problems, your GP or optician can refer you to this clinic. During your appointment you’ll be assessed using diagnostic imaging to see if we can improve your vision.

Paediatric (Children’s) clinic

This clinic is for children and young people with eye problems. You or your child can be referred to this clinic by your GP, optician, orthoptist or following a school screening programme.

Strabismus clinic

If you have a squint, also called strabismus, your GP or optician can refer you to this clinic. During the appointment you’ll be assessed by an orthoptist and together you’ll decide on the best course of treatment for you. This could be surgical correction or wearing glasses that have a prism on the spectacles. This clinic is for adults only.


How to Contact the Low Vision Service:

Tel. 01228 814791

Monday to Friday

9am to 4.30pm     

This is funded by the NHS and is free to everyone.


Do you struggle with reading or with daily activities?

If you are having difficulties with reading or daily activities you could benefit from an assessment at a Low Vision Clinic - these take place at Carlisle, Workington and Penrith.


How do I get referred to Low Vision Service?

By any health professional, local sight loss society, adult social care or you can self-refer.  Please ensure you have seen the optometrist within the last 6 months.

Referrals should be sent to:


What happens at the Low Vision Clinic?

You will be assessed for magnifying aids which are provided free of charge on long term loan. You will also get advice and support on remaining independent.

The clinics are run by a multi-disciplinary team that includes a low vision therapist, a rehabilitation officer for the visually impaired from the County Council and a representative from the local sight loss organisation.

If you need to change or cancel an appointment, please call the Contact Centre on 03447 760003.

If you have any questions or concerns about your appointment, please ring your consultant’s secretary.

For Mr Ainsworth, Miss Goliyadi, Mr Mikhail and Mr Zaheen’s secretary call 01228 814476.