Getting a referral to SpaMedica

Happy SpaMedica patient coordinator discussing brochure with delighted patient

Getting a referral

If you live in England, all you need to do is let your optician or GP know which healthcare provider and hospital you would like to have your cataract treatment at and then they’ll send a referral to your chosen provider. You should hear back from your provider within two to three weeks following your referral. If you haven’t heard anything after this point, then we recommend contacting the person who referred you – this will be your optician or GP – to check on the status of your referral.   

Getting a diagnosis

If you’re experiencing cataract symptoms, it’s important to get your eyes checked as soon as possible by your local optician, who will assess your general eye health and conduct a sight test to check the quality of your vision. If a cataract diagnosis is confirmed and you meet the referral criteria for treatment, your optician will be able to refer you to a treatment provider like SpaMedica, who will carry out your cataract surgery free of charge.

Choosing a provider

Many NHS patients assume they’ll be referred to their local hospital for cataract surgery, but did you know you have the right to choose where you have your treatment?   

You can find a list of cataract surgery providers near you using the NHS website. If you’re looking for your nearest SpaMedica hospital, you can find a map of our locations here.  

When choosing a treatment provider, think about the factors that are most important to you. They might include:  

  • Waiting times – how long are you willing to wait for cataract surgery?  
  • Location – how far are you prepared to travel for cataract treatment? 
  • Quality – does your chosen provider have excellent patient outcomes and employ experienced consultant surgeons?   

At SpaMedica, you won’t have to compromise. It’s usually a four-week wait from referral to treatment, meaning we can offer shorter waiting times than many NHS hospitals. We have hospitals in most major towns and cities and offer a free transport service for patients who would otherwise struggle to access our services. Our patient outcomes are also excellent – all of our hospitals inspected by the independent healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), have been graded as good or outstanding, and our surgeons are amongst the very best in the country.   

Click here to view SpaMedica’s five-star ratings and reviews from patients for each of our hospitals on NHS Choices.   

Information for Patients in Wales

While patients in England are currently able to choose where to have their cataract treatment, if you live in Wales, your Local Health Board will make that decision for you. You can find details of your Local Health Board on the NHS Wales website. As all NHS Wales referrals are managed by your Local Health Board, SpaMedica is unfortunately unable to accept direct referrals for treatment from your optician or GP.

Our hospitals in Wales are registered with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the independent inspectorate and regulator of healthcare in Wales.

Our SpaMedica Referrals team calls each of our patients within two to three days of us receiving your referral. We talk through the next steps with you, answer any questions you may have, and you choose an appointment date to suit you.

Our average waiting times are two weeks for a pre-op appointment and then two weeks after that for surgery, so about four weeks from when we receive your referral.