Frequently Asked Questions

At ACES our aim is to provide timely ophthalmic care of the highest standards in a community setting that is accessible, convenient and comfortable for our patients without the requirement of hospital admission. 

The average waiting time for cataract surgery at ACES is 4 weeks, meaning our patients can quickly get back to enjoying life to the fullest again.

We aim to treat patients four weeks from their initial referral. If a patient requires cataract surgery, they will then be offered the opportunity to choose a suitable appointment time and date at an ACES clinic that is most convenient to them.

Patients requiring cataract surgery will expected to complete treatment with ACES in a much shorter time, than if treated in a traditional NHS hospital.

All healthcare professionals referring NHS patients to ACES should ideally use the NHS e-referral service in the first instance. Full details of all referral options can be found here.  

All patients have the legal right to choose where they have their NHS treatment. A full guide on how to be referred can be found here:

Once we have received a referral, we will contact you when an appointment is available. Our booking coordinator will arrange an appointment at a time, date and location convenient for you. You will receive a letter to confirm all details.

If you have not heard from ACES within seven days of the referral being made, please check with the person who made the referral or contact ACES:

01945 466222

01945 466297



Please bring your current glasses/prescription to your appointment at ACES. We also require a list of any medications you are currently taking and any other related information about your health. We will also ask you to provide the contact details of the person who will be collecting you from your appointments/procedures.

Pre-operative appointments:

Soft Contact Lenses must be removed at least 24 hours before your appointment.

Hard Contact Lenses must not be worn for at least one week before your appointment.

Surgery/treatment/post-operative appointments:

All Contact Lenses (soft and hard) must be removed at least 24 hours before your appointment.

You should eat and drink as usual and take your normal medication unless advised otherwise by one of our clinical team. Wear comfortable clothes, you will not need to change for your treatment. You may want to bring a painkiller with you to take post procedure.

Some appointments will involve us administering an eye drop to dilute your pupils. This will cause a short period of sensitivity to light and blurred vision. This does mean you will not be able to drive after your appointment. We will advise you before your appointment if you are unable to drive post appointment and ask you to make alternative travel arrangements.

When you arrive for your surgery at your chosen ACES clinic, you will be met by a clinic nurse who will check your details and confirm your procedure. You will then meet a consultant who will go through the details of your surgery and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Your consultant will then ask you to sign the consent form, if this was not already done in the pre-assessment clinic.

You can expect to be with us for up to 2 hours. We will keep you well informed of the process throughout.

If you are feeling unwell, you should not proceed with surgery. We would encourage you to speak with one of our team if you have any doubts or questions. Please inform us as soon as possible so that we can reschedule your surgery date.

Please let us know if you are taking any form of antibiotic and the reasons for this. If you are using these for the short term management of an infection we will reschedule your surgery date. If you are taking your antibiotics for a long term condition you may be able to proceed.

When you attend your pre-assessment appointment we will ask you to advise us of all medication you take, this includes anticoagulants (blood thinners).

If taking anticoagulants you will need to provide us with an INR result within a week of your surgery. If your INR is out of range we will reschedule your cataract surgery.

If your blood pressure is too high to proceed with your surgery, we will reschedule your treatment to a later date.

We supply all patients with a course of eye drops following their surgery. However if you believe you do require additional drops please contact us:

01945 466222


If you are experiencing discomfort from dry or gritty eyes, you may wish to use an additional lubricating eye drop. You can visit your local optometrist/opticians practice or pharmacist who will be able to provide you with the best option. If you do decide to use additional drops, please leave at least five minutes between using the two different types of eye drops.

We may have issued you with an eye shield, and you will be requested to wear this for the remainder of your surgery day, and overnight. You can remove this the morning after surgery, unless we have advised otherwise. If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice.

01945 466222


We recommend you wait at least 48 hours before you drive or operate any machinery. You must be satisfied that your vision is at the appropriate level. After your surgery it will take a few days for your eyesight to adjust, this is normal.

For two weeks after your surgery we would ask you keep your exercise to a light minimal. After two weeks you can resume your normal exercise regime.

You cannot wear makeup for at least one week following your surgery.  

We would ask you to wait until you have attended your post-operative appointment before travelling on an aeroplane.

It is perfectly normal to have blurred vision for a few days following your surgery. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us:

01945 466222


You may return to work around one week post-surgery, providing your workplace is dust free and not physically demanding. If not, we would recommend you wait at least two weeks before you return.

We recommend you wait at least 24hours post-surgery to wash your hair, with a gentle shampoo taking care to avoid your eyes. We recommend that when washing your hair, the direction of water is away from your eyes, wherever possible. Do not rub your eyes.

Post-operative care is important. Your initial post-operative consultation will be carried out by telemedicine. This will be undertaken by one of our clinical team. As a follow-on we recommend that you visit your optometrist/opticians practice at between 4 and 6 weeks after your cataract surgery. 

After you have been referred to ACES from your optometry practice or GP your first appointment will be for an initial assessment. This includes a series of diagnostic scans and a clinician assessment. This will enable us to provide a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.