GM Electronic Referral System for Optical Practitioners



Referrals in Greater Manchester are made using the Opera Referral IT system. In December 2020 this replaced the previous system which had been operating since April 2019. Primary Eyecare Services are providing the system which is currently fundeed by the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership.

GM Practices that already sub-contract with PES have access to the referral module as part of their suite of services.

Practices that do not sub-contract with PES can register for referrals only here. Follow the link for practice onboarding. If you do not provide any other Primary Eyecare services, then choose referral only practice.

As of August 2021 the Opera platform has been adopted by the NHS for referrals across the whole of the North West region and will take over funding from GMH&SCP during the 2nd half of 2021. Further information on this can be found here.


Opera Electronic Referral System

This document provides referral advice for use with Opera.

Download Opera Referral Advice Mar 21 V1.52

Check back to this page frequently as the guidance is regularly updated

Videos on using the system are available on the help pages here:

Opera help pages


Details of the treatment providers for each area and who to contact if you want confirmation are here:

Download Mapping for Practitioners Jan 21 V2.0

Opera and emergency referrals (MREH specifically)

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Primary Eyecare Services collaboratively presented a referrals focused event in July. A recording of the event has been uploaded onto you tube and can be accessed via the following link:

Opera & MREH video

The aim of the event was to provide practical and clinical tips when making a referral through the Opera system, whilst providing an overview of hospital processes to help inform decision making within primary care. It has specific guidance for making general emergency referrals and emergency macular referrals. The content of the event was aimed at CCG areas for whom MREH was the main provider of secondary care.


ODS Codes

If you don't know your ODS Code you can search for it here:

Learn More NHS Digital ODS Portal

New practices may not have an NHS ODS site code and if not should contact the Exeter Help Desk to request one. - Send Mail


NHS Information Governance

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) is required for NHS Mail, Extended Services and the referral system. The website is linked below, but the DSPT can be completed and submitted through the Quality in Optometry website. There are 2 versions of the DSPT for optical practices, the full optical version required for this referral system and also for NHS Contracts/Extended Services, and a reduced subset for NHSMail purposes only. Both versions are in QiO.

Learn More DSPT website

Learn More Quality in Optometry Website