Ophthalmology emergency admission protocol: Raigmore & NTC (Guidelines)



  • Highland HSCP 
  • Primary and Secondary Care 
  • A&E Clinical staff, medical clinical staff, surgical clinical staff, Raigmore ANPs 


  • Ophthalmology on-call cover is from 08.00 to 20.00 with an ANP/CDF covering the other 12 hours.
  • All patients are admitted under a named ophthalmology consultant.
  • There is agreement that emergencies are covered by the appropriate specialty if the ANP teams need help, mainly medicine via the MET team.

The admission process needs to first consider the following: 

  • Does the patient have a primary ophthalmology problem with no other acute medical / surgical problems?
    • If yes: usually admit to NTC Ophthalmology 24/7
  • Does the patient with an ophthalmology problem have an acute surgical or medical problem (even if the ophthalmology problem is the major concern)?
    • If yes: the patient should be admitted to the most appropriate medical or surgical admission area in Raigmore Hospital 

Escalation criteria

  • If a patient deteriorates while under the care of the ophthalmologists, unless this is entirely due to their ophthalmology disease, the patient should be escalated to:
    • In hours: Ward Junior Doctor (in Raigmore) or ANP/CDF (in NTC) 
    • OOH: ANP covering surgery (in Raigmore) or ANP/CDF (in NTC) 
  • At any time, if the nursing team are concerned about a deteriorating patient under the care of Ophthalmology, they should contact the medical emergency team (MET) team on 1999.
  • If the reviewing ANP/Junior Doctor needs more support a senior MET call should be initiated: MET 1888 
    • In hours Monday to Friday: Acute Medical Consultant
    • OOH: Medical Registrar with Consultant Physician on-call
  •  24/7 The Senior MET doctor should review the patient and initiate treatment. If they need to refer to surgery this should happen.
  • When the Senior MET is carried by a Medical Registrar their senior support remains the Consultant Physician on call.
  • All need to be aware that there is no Consultant Ophthalmologist on-call between 20.00 and 08.00.


Abbreviation  Meaning 
 ANP  advanced nurse practitioner
 MET  medical emergency team  

Last reviewed: 09/11/2022

Next review date: 30/11/2025

Author(s): Ophthalmology Review Group .

Approved By: Approved TAMSG of the ADTC

Reviewer name(s): Dr T Leslie, Consultant Ophthalmologist .

Document Id: TAM539

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