Who is the service for?

Orthoptists investigate, diagnose and manage disorders of binocular vision and abnormalities of eye movement. The work involves seeing patients of all ages from infants to the elderly.

The children’s service is an open referral system for OLDHAM patients– however most of our referrals come from GPs, Health Visitors, School Health Advisors, Paediatricians and the child’s carers.

The adult service mainly receives referrals from OLDHAM GPs – however in urgent situations referrals may come form other consultants, A&E or through Eye Casualty.

The stroke service is an in-patient ward based service provided on the Stroke Rehabilitation Wards.

Orthoptists form part of the eye care team and generally work closely together with Ophthalmologists (eye doctors) and Optometrists (Opticians).

What does the service provide?

The professional role of the Orthoptist includes examining patients with eye problems especially those related to ocular motility, binocular vision, amblyopia (lazy eye) or squint. Orthoptists diagnose these problems and determine appropriate management.

The children’s service deals with childhood visual development (which may include the provision of glasses or occlusion therapy), childhood squint – whether this is the cosmetic appearance of the squint or possible symptoms due to poor control of the deviation. Children are also seen as referred from paediatricians and the Child Development Service as part of their general developmental reviews or to screen for specific features of syndromes.  We also have an extended role service to review children (and some teenagers) with Specific Literacy Difficulties.

We also provide a vision screening service to all children in Oldham.

The Paediatric Optometrist examines the child’s eyes to detect any ocular disease or abnormality and prescribes spectacles for those who need them. As part of the team – they work closely with the Orthoptist and Ophthalmologist.

The Adult service deals with patients with double vision and other eye symptoms for which there is an ocular motility cause – our role is to diagnose the defect, work with the Ophthalmology team to determine the cause (which may involve further investigations) and then work with the patient towards alleviation of symptoms.  If the cause is neurological defects we may need to ensure the patient is referred to other specialities with appropriate urgency. Treatments may include the use of prisms, exercises/ therapy within our clinics or looking towards surgical options from ophthalmology.

The stroke service provides a full Orthoptic assessment at the bedside for all the patients within our remit.  Treatment and advice is given to all patients where needed. Patients are reviewed on the ward and treatment modified as appropriate. We also work as an integral member of the multidisciplinary team to give advice to others to aid their rehab work with the patient.

As an extended role orthoptists are also involved in the management of glaucoma within Ophthalmology where we review patients whose condition is stable and thus allow for more effective use of the Ophthalmologist’s time in clinic.

Who will patients meet?

When invited to an Orthoptic or Glaucoma Maintenance appointment then patients will meet an Orthoptist at each appointment – should there be an adult joint appointment then patients will usually meet the Ophthalmologist after they have seen the Orthoptist.

For the optometry / ophthalmology appointments most children will meet the Health Care Assistant on arrival and then meet the Optometrist / Ophthalmologist when they are ready for that assessment.

When is the service available?

The department is open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

Where is the service provided?

The children’s service is based in a number of community clinics – the main base and administrative centre is Integrated Care Centre in Oldham. Clinics are also held at Chadderton South H.C., Chadderton Town H.C., Crompton H.C., Failsworth Keppel Building, Glodwick Primary Care Centre, Moorside Primary Care Centre, Royton Health and Wellbeing Centre, St Chads Centre, Uppermill Health Centre and Kingfisher Special School.

Adult Orthoptic and Glaucoma clinics are held at the Integrated Care Centre.

Stroke service is based on the Stroke Rehabilitation Wards.

Department contact details

Main telephone number is 0161 621 3489.

Key staff/consultants

Professional Service Manager:

Gillian Catlow

Audiology and Orthoptic

Professional Service Manager