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Ophthalmic Services

General Ophthalmic Services key figures 2022-23 (NISRA and BSO)

General Ophthalmic Services key figures 2022-23 (NISRA and BSO)

Ophthalmic Services

The Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG) has contracts with over 250 ophthalmic practices across the region to provide general ophthalmic services for Health Service patients. The SPPG also plans and develops a range of special enhanced services to help manage increasing demands for eye health services.

On this page you will find information on service developments in eye health, and  links to information and advice on eye health and care services.

Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Scheme (NI PEARS)

The NI PEARS service is for patients who develop a sudden eye condition such as:

  • Red eye(s)
  • Pain and/or discomfort in the eyes, or around the eye area
  • Sudden reduction in vision in one or both eyes
  • Recent onset or sudden increase of flashes and/or floaters in one or both eyes
  • Something in your eye that you can’t remove yourself

For more information about the NI PEARS service, please click here.

Your eye health is important

It is important that you consider your eye health as you do for the rest of your body.

Many eye conditions and problems are linked to other medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Smoking is linked to eye disease and sight loss, with smokers being four times more likely to have macular degeneration. Loss of sight is something which we all fear and want to avoid.

What to expect from an eye test

You should have an eye test every two years. Find out what is involved in an eye test from this short video:

Could you be entitled to free Health Service sight tests?

If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, or if you have a close family relative with glaucoma, you may be eligible for free Health Service sight tests.  You can check if you’re eligible  on the Business Services Organisation website.

Information about eye care professionals

There are a range of professionals involved in looking after your eye health including, optometrists, dispensing opticians and other staff. Find out more about eye-care professionals.

More useful links

Eye care | nidirect


Northern Ireland Eyecare Network