Children and the HES

Specialist optometrist at Russells Hall Nicky Ferguson has produced a hospital perspective on referral and management of children’s vision:


The LOC feel it is very worthwhile having this information to inform our judgement and decision making. We must stress that this document doesn’t amount to a local protocol. Any optometrist who wants to look after their amblyopes/squints can still do so. They are still free to use their evidence based clinical judgement informed by guidance elsewhere. There is also no requirement under GOS to perform cycloplegic refraction before referring every child. We are still free to see young children for sight tests even with a local screening service with a robust design operating. Our profession’s guidance indicates we should be encouraging parents to bring their children for eye tests as soon as possible.

We hope it gives practitioners the confidence to prescribe for children prior to referring. It should also help decide at what level of hyperopia to prescribe where there is reduced vision, as well as what constitutes reduced vision.  The guidance also includes contact details for Nicky, so feel free to contact her with any queries.

Young Children’s Dispensing  and Special Needs in Dudley Area

Any practice that performs GOS sight tests is obliged to see children.

Some practices however will also stock specialist frames such as “Miraflex” (though there are issues with supply to the UK of Miraflex frames).

Others specialise in seeing children with special needs or have additional equipment or greater experience in this area.

The LOC maintains a list below of those practices that have indicated particular provision for these services, which is available below. Russells Hall also make use of this list.

Children and special needs Feb 2024

If you wish to be added to this list please contact us with the following:

Your practice name and address
If you stock Miraflex or Equivalent?
If you feel confident to see children with special needs?