Vitreous-retinal emergency clinic (VRE)

Welcome to the Vitreous- retinal emergency (VRE) clinic. 

Our vitreous-retinal emergency clinic provides urgent care for eye conditions affecting the vitreous humour and retina. These are important structures in the back of the eye.

This special clinic treats emergency eye issues like:

  • Retinal detachment - when the retina pulls away from the eye wall
  • Vitreous haemorrhage - bleeding into the vitreous
  • Macular degeneration - damage to the macula, which is important for central vision
  • Diabetic retinopathy - damage to the retina related to diabetes

If you suddenly have vision changes, flashes, floaters, or other worrying symptoms, go to the Vitreous-Retinal Emergency Clinic right away. The specialists there can quickly diagnose and treat the issue to protect your eyesight.


Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 13.00pm
  • Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays: 7:30am to 12:30pm

Our telephone number is 0207 566 2593.


Waiting times

The VRE clinic is a highly specialised service, which accepts referrals from all over the country. The length of time you wait for treatment will depend on how many patients need to be treated and the seriousness of your condition.

Because some patients need surgery on the same day that they are referred to the clinic, we cannot operate a first- come, first-served policy. If your condition can be treated by laser, you will need to wait until all patients have been seen and diagnosed. Most patients who require laser treatment will have their treatment in the afternoon.

Please speak to a nurse to see if you can return after 1:00pm.


Surgery patients

The order of the operating list is decided by the priority of need for surgery, which can change throughout the day.

Everyone is referred as an ‘emergency’ – your surgeon will decide whether the operation needs to be done immediately, or whether it can wait. Moorfields is a day surgery hospital, so you should be discharged on the same day.

Operations can be done under local or general anaesthetic.

  • Local anaesthetic

Patients can eat and drink as normal and take regular medications as usual. You will generally be able to travel home alone.

  • General anaesthetic

Patients can eat a light breakfast before 7am if their surgery is scheduled for a week day, but must fast from midnight if surgery is scheduled for a weekend or bank holiday. You will need to be escorted home and ensure that there is someone with you at home overnight after your operation.

More information on these will be given by the nurse in clinic.


Please take any medications as usual and bring your regular medications to the hospital with you.