Eye casualty entrance

Eye emergencies

The eye emergency department (eye casualty) is a specialist emergency department for urgent sight and eye conditions including trauma. We are based at Southampton General Hospital, and treat over 25,000 patients a year. We are a major regional centre and the biggest in the south east of England.

We see people in clinical priority order, this means seeing the most serious cases first.

If Southampton General Hospital is not your local NHS hospital, you should always contact your local hospital first (unless you are an existing patient of the Southampton eye unit, or have been specifically referred here). Many other trusts within Hampshire also have on-call specialist eye doctors available for emergencies 24 hours a day.

Opening hours (updated due to COVID-19 pandemic)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had had to make significant changes to the access of our service.

If you have an eye emergency, please come immediately to our department between

  • 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • 8am and 4pm, Saturday and Sunday

Outside of these hours, please attend the main hospital emergency department.

What is an eye emergency?

If you do not meet the criteria of an eye emergency you are required to call our telephone triage line (023 8120 6592) which is available 8am to 6pm, everyday.

We will advise as to whether you need to attend our department or if we can help you over the phone.

If you have an urgent eye problem outside of these hours, please contact your GP to access their out of hour’s service or call 111 for further advice. An ophthalmologist is on call in case of an emergency.

Do not drive yourself to the hospital as many of our patients are given eye drops which can affect your vision. If you are given these you will not be able to drive home.

Contact us

Call us on 023 8120 6592. If your call is not answered, please try again in a few minutes.

Getting here and parking

If you need to visit eye casualty or the eye unit, please park in the blue car park at Southampton General.

The department is located behind Ronald McDonald House, at the bottom of the ambulance slope. There is also a pick up and drop off point located outside the eye unit.