After much consideration and following national guidance, RVEEH’s ocular oncology service has been temporarily limited to seeing and treating urgent cases only. We have taken this step in an attempt to minimise cross infection with COVID 19 and preserve the health of both our patients and staff. We will, however, be maintaining an essential service for high priority patients who urgently need to be seen. The oncology mobile phone will continue to be manned for any urgent queries or concerns in the interim.
For patients due to clinic in the upcoming weeks, your hospital record will be reviewed by a team member to ascertain if it is reasonable to defer your scheduled appointment. You may receive a phone call to check how you have been since your last appointment and to discuss whether it is safer to defer your appointment for now.
The oncology mobile remains a line of communication if you are worried about any changes. As you can appreciate, there are a high volume of calls coming through at present so your call may not be answered. In this instance, please text or leave a voice message (with your name, date of birth and a contact number) and I will answer your query as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in relation to ocular oncology
I have seen my doctor and he/she thinks I need to see an eye specialist soon. What happens next?
Once your doctor has referred you to our service, your referral will be triaged based on the information provided to us. Often, we are asked to see patients with choroidal naevi, or ‘moles’ at the back of the eye. These are usually benign (i.e. non-cancerous) lesions which generally do not disturb your vision but may warrant a baseline routine (non-urgent) evaluation. We will request photos taken by your optician/ophthalmologist and may ask them to conduct further tests locally to avoid unnecessary travel. In this case, we may defer your appointment until it is safer to attend.
I have been diagnosed with a choroidal melanoma, what happens next?
If you have recently been definitively diagnosed with a choroidal melanoma at another healthcare facility, we will contact you directly to set up an appointment for as soon as possible. We may ask your referring doctor to organise scans prior to being seen here so please attend these appointments beforehand. You will be seen in the Eye Out Patient Department (OPD). Strict visitor restrictions are in place and are being strictly implemented so please arrive alone to the check in desk 5-10 minutes before your appointment time. Your relative/accompanying person may wait outside for you. We would ask that if you have any persistent cough, temperature or shortness of breath that you contact your GP and make us aware of the situation on 086 375 1148. Do not attend if you are experiencing these symptoms or if you have been advised not to leave your house.
My appointment was cancelled when will I get a new appointment?
If your appointment was cancelled it will be rescheduled in turn. Our team here is working extremely hard to ensure that all patients who have been cancelled during this time receive a rescheduled appointment as soon as possible. This may take time as we do not have a definite date as to when clinics will be fully operational again. Your patience is much appreciated at this time.
My appointment was not cancelled, should I still attend?
If you received a phone call informing you of your scheduled appointment please attend as advised. Please do not present at the check-in desk more than 10 minutes before your appointment.
My appointment was cancelled, I’m not sure if I should continue to take my drops?
Please contact the oncology mobile if you are unsure about continuing a short course of drops. If you are on long term drops, continue to take your eye drops as prescribed unless told otherwise by your eye team. We will review your drops at your next appointment.
I have run out of drops and I need a new prescription?
If you have a medical card your GP can repeat-prescribe your drops as usual. If you do not have a medical card contact the oncology mobile and I will discuss this with you.
I cannot leave the house, how will I get my drops?
If you cannot leave the house contact your pharmacist so that an arrangement can be made for some else to pick them up for you or to have them delivered if possible. The important thing to do is ensure you continue to use your treatment.
I am using drops but now I feel like they are irritating my eyes?
This could be related to a dry eye or allergy, please phone the oncology mobile.
What if my planned surgery is cancelled?
If your surgery is cancelled, it will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
I have an urgent eye problem or new eye problem what should I do?
If you have a new eye problem which you are concerned about phone the ocular oncology mobile on 086 375 1148.
Please note that if you have had plaque brachytherapy or proton beam therapy, gradual deterioration in vision can be expected in the treated eye post treatment. Please get in touch if you experience any sudden change in vision, new onset of distortion of vision or severe pain.
If you have recently had an eye removed (enucleation), continue your drops/ointment for 6 weeks. We will be in touch by phone to check on your progress and to set up a provisional appointment for prosthesis fitting after 6-8 weeks. If you develop any pain, swelling or discharge telephone the oncology mobile for advice.
If you cannot get through to the Clinical Nurse Specialist on the ocular oncology mobile phone number and you are concerned about new symptoms, please contact The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Emergency Department. During this COVID-19 situation the department is operating an appointment only system.
For Emergency Department appointments please phone 01 664 4600
Monday to Friday: 0800hrs – 2000hrs
Saturday and Sunday: 0800hrs – 1700hrs
When you phone you will be triaged by a nurse and this will determine if you need to been seen. In general eye emergencies include:
- Loss of vision, altered vision, sudden blurred vision and getting worse
- New flashes of light with floaters and/or an appearance of a curtain coming across your vision
- Painful red eye
Thank you for your continued understanding and we will be in touch with you to organise follow up for as soon as we can.