Hospital eye service (HES) NHS experience

If you are based in community practice, you must complete hospital eye service (HES) experience.

This will help you learn about multi-disciplinary working in a hospital eye department as well as ophthalmology specialities and their role in detecting and managing eye conditions. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be possible for you to secure a placement in a hospital eye service, so there are three ways to meet this requirement.

  1. Spend at least 10 sessions in a hospital eye service during Stage One. We recommend two weeks full time equivalent to give a detailed insight into NHS eye care. You must complete the HES logbook as evidence of your experience.

    OR
  2. Complete all nine modules of our virtual hospital eye service experience. The course is flexible, but your employer should give you the equivalent of five days study leave to complete it, including a compulsory interactive low vision module. You must complete the feedback for each module and download each of the nine module certificates. You do not need to complete the HES logbook

    OR
  3. Complete 10 sessions* which are a fusion of face-to-face clinics in the hospital and the virtual hospital eye service experience. You must cover the following clinical areas to ensure a mix of ophthalmic specialities:
    • Diabetic eye disease
    • Emergency eye service clinic
    • Glaucoma clinic
    • Low vision clinic
    • Neuro-ophthalmology clinic
    • Paediatric clinic
    • Retinal clinic

In order to have completed 10 sessions you will need three more which can be in any clinical area. You must complete the HES logbook as evidence of your face-to-face experience and download each module certificate.

* One session is the equivalent to half a day.

Interactive low vision workshop

To book your low vision interactive session, send an email to low.vision@college-optometrists.org mentioning your name and 5-digit College membership number.

Once you have completed the HES experience, show your hospital logbook and/or certificates to your assessor during a Stage One visit.

HES experience courses

This online course for pre-reg optometrists includes a range of activities around the types of patient which you could expect to see in a contact lens clinic within the HES.

This online course for pre-reg trainees covers how patients with diabetes are managed both in practice, by the Diabetic Eye Screening Programmes and within the HES.

This online course covers the emergency eye services clinic portion of the pre-reg trainee HES experience.

This online course covers the glaucoma clinic portion of the pre-reg trainee HES experience.

This online course is an interactive half-day session for pre-registration optometrists who have been unable to complete their hospital eye service (HES) placement.

This online course for pre-reg optometrists covers the roles of the members of a hospital eye department and how these could change in the future.

This online course for pre-reg optometrists presents a number of patient cases illustrating a range of neurological symptoms.

This online course covers the paediatric clinic portion of the pre-reg Hospital Eye Service experience.

This online course for pre-reg trainees covers the pathologies treated in a medical retina clinic including AMD and other macula pathology.