Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some of our patients are understandably nervous about coming in to hospital for an appointment during the pandemic. To help reassure you, we’ve provided answers to frequently asked questions about how we’re working to keep patients safe, and what you can expect when you come in for an appointment. You will also find information here on emergency care, deferral of appointments, and also how to contact us, should you need to.

I have been avoiding coming to Moorfields because I am worried about Coronavirus. How do I know it’s safe?

If we have asked you to attend an urgent appointment it’s because our doctors and their teams have assessed your case and believe it is important for you to receive treatment now. If you are worried, please contact your clinic and ask to speak to your consultant who can provide you with more information on this. We have put safety measures in place to help protect you when you come in, which you can read more about below.

Why is it concerning when patients don’t attend appointments?

There's been a worrying drop off in the number of patients coming to see us with sight threatening problems since lockdown. If we have asked you to attend an urgent appointment, it’s because our doctors have assessed your case and believe you would benefit from treatment.

What do I do if I have an eye care emergency?

We understand you may be afraid to come into hospital at this time, but if you have a sudden loss of vision (in the middle of your sight, or in another area of your vision) that does not improve within a couple of hours, it's vital that you seek medical attention. Moorfields patients can speak to a doctor via our online A&E service and we can assess whether or not you need to come in.

Can I bring someone with me?

To minimise the number of people in our clinics, we are asking patients who cannot attend alone to arrive with a maximum of one other person. We understand that patients may need to travel in with a relative or carer, but please be aware that due to social distancing measures we have in place, we may ask them to wait outside for you. This is to ensure yours and other patients' safety in our clinics.

For patients coming in for surgical procedures, we ask that, if you need someone with you, they drop you off and pick you up from the ward, but do not stay in the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

Please arrive no more than 15 minutes ahead of your appointment. We have temperature checks in place and we need patients to stick to appointment times, to minimise the number of people in waiting areas and to ensure everyone is seen on time. 

Note: These are temporary changes to our guidelines and will be changed back when safe to do so.

What measures has Moorfields put in place to keep me safe?

We have put the following safety measures in place to keep our patients and staff safe

  • Face masks are given to all patients on entry at our hospitals and clinics.
  • Patients will have their symptoms checked before they enter the hospital at City Road.
  • Our staff are wearing protective equipment to keep you and them safe.
  • We have safety measures in place, including markers on the floor and waiting rooms set out to maintain social distancing.
  • We have installed breath guards for examinations using slit lamps, and perspex screens have been put up at most reception desks.
  • We have restricted the number of visitors to one per patient, and staggered appointment times, to minimise the number of patients in the hospital at any given time.

Patients travelling via public transport and attending a hospital appointment are required to wear a face covering. You will be provided with a fresh surgical face mask upon entry to our hospital and clinics. Please also remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser where possible. 

Find out more about the use of face coverings and surgical face masks in our short animation. 

Social distancing will be part of daily life in all public settings for the foreseeable future. We will keep our patients updated with any changes or further measures we may need to take to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

I cancelled my appointment because I was worried about attending, but I’ve changed my mind. How do I get an appointment?

You can contact our booking team by calling them on 020 7566 2700.

If you've had a sudden loss of vision, have dark shadows or floaters in your eyes, or have sustained an injury, contact us straight away. Moorfields patients can use our online A&E service at:

I am worried about using public transport to get to my appointment. What transport options are available to me?

We understand that many patients are wary about travelling to appointments on public transport. If you have been offered an appointment, it is because our doctors have reviewed your eye health and can offer you treatment to help save your sight. Below are some options to consider, including making use of patient transport, which may now be available to you as the rules have been relaxed during the pandemic. 

  • Car/lift – Please use our guide to each location to check local parking. If you are coming to City Road, remember the congestion charge applies on the Islington side of City Road, but not the Hackney side.
  • Taxis – If you are on most means-tested benefits, and a taxi is the cheapest form of transport available to you, you will be able to claim your fares back – see our main transport page for details.
  • Long distance train – If you are on most means-tested benefits, you will be able to claim your fares back – see our main transport page for details.
  • Public transport – There are steps you can take to make your journey better. Transport for London (TfL) provides up to date information on safer travelling, and you can always contact us at to ask us to reschedule your appointment to avoid travelling in rush hour. You cannot use public transport if you have been self-isolating prior to an operation.

Arranging patient transport

Many more patients can now have patient transport to their place of treatment. Please ring DHL on 0333 240 4909, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm to check if you are eligible and to arrange this transport. (Please check the websites of Ealing, Croydon, St George’s and Darent Valley hospitals for their transport arrangements).

Please give them as much notice as you can of your journey. When speaking to them, make sure you explain the difficulties you will have in travelling to Moorfields by any other means due to your condition, including maintaining social distancing and problems using multiple public transport journeys. If you need to be escorted because of your condition, please explain this to DHL, as eligibility criteria apply. Patient transport is sometimes shared, but it will always in line with national infection control guidance.

Please contact the number on your appointment letter if you are finding it difficult to book transport.

Why is my appointment at a different location?

We are only supporting urgent and emergency appointments.Operating from fewer sites means we have freed up staff, equipment and resources to support other trusts, including NHS Nightingale. We have, where possible, focused on sites without Covid-19 patients (such as Purley). Where we have vacated clinics, the host trusts have used the space either for Covid-19 related services, or as a temporary location for other services to make room for expanding their Covid-19 treatment.

My routine appointment was deferred due to lockdown. When will I get an appointment again?

If we deferred your appointment, please be assured we will be in touch as soon as we can to let you know what will happen next. We understand that you might be feeling anxious about this but our doctors and their teams have reviewed your case; we will be in touch as soon as we can with details of your new appointment.

To help you manage your eye care at home in the meantime, we have produced some useful guidance, which includes information on access to and use of medicines:

Some clinics are offering video conferencing for appointments. Can we expect to see more of that, moving forward?

To reduce the amount of unnecessary journeys into hospital, we are offering a range of appointments using secure video conferencing technology. Whilst some appointments and treatments will still need to be delivered in our hospital, we are looking at how we can expand our virtual services for patients.

What do I do if I need general advice on my eye care?

We are still here to help you with any concerns you have about your sight. Urgent appointments remain in place, and A&E is still open. But if you have a minor injury, you may be able to treat it yourself. Our eye care section on the website provides information on managing your condition at home. You will also find contacts for specific clinics and contacts for the nurse-led advice line:

I need a new or repeat prescription - how do I get one?

We've set up a medicines helpline, managed by pharmacists & trained healthcare staff, to help patients with prescriptions during the pandemic. Call 0207 566 2361 Mon - Fri (excluding Bank Holidays) 9:00 & 5:30pm.

Why can't I get through on the phone?

We are receiving a high level of calls and are responding as quickly as we can. If you are calling about an appointment, you can email:

Moorfields patients and those living in central London who require emergency eye care (sight threatening problems or eye injuries) can use our A&E Attend Anywhere service during the time below.   

Monday to Friday:

  • 9am-12:30pm
  • 1:30pm-5pm
  • 5:30pm-9pm 

Saturday to Sunday:

  • 10am-12:30pm
  • 1:30pm-4pm

These video consultations will allow us to assess your condition and provide advice on whether or not you need to come into our A&E department for further checks. More information can be found on the Emergency care page. If you require urgent medical advice out of these hours, you can contact our A&E department on 020 7253 3411.

When emailing us, please include the following information to help us get to you as soon as we can:

  • Name
  • Hospital/NHS number
  • Date of Birth 
  • Postcode
  • Contact number 

How do I know I am being contacted by someone at Moorfields?

We are currently only contacting people about their appointments, and will not ask for your bank details. Sadly, we have heard of a scam where people ask for financial details whilst purporting to be carrying out a Moorfields survey. If you are in doubt about an incoming call, ring us back on our main switchboard, 020 7253 3411.

I’m not a Moorfields patient - can I use Moorfields services?

Residents who live in central London can use Moorfields A&E services, but these services are for sight threatening problems only. Patients of Moorfields are usually referred to Moorfields via their GP or optician.

Further information:

Last updated: 21st September 2020