Hospital Based Services:

As autonomous practitioners the Orthoptic team, (17 Orthoptists and 6 Ophthalmic technicians), provide comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services to in-patients and out-patients, including Accident and Emergency, Paediatric, Maxillo-facial and Glaucoma. The team is led by Rosie Auld, Head of Orthoptic Services.

Orthoptists diagnose and treat patients with a range of ocular conditions – amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus, defects of ocular motility, vision, visual field and visual perception in children and adults.

Highly specialised Orthoptists undertake tertiary Neuro-ophthalmology clinics, working closely with three Neuro-ophthalmologists (Mr Burdon, Mr Jacks and Mr Matthews) to provide diagnostic and therapeutic services.

A specialised Stroke service is provided on the Sandwell Hospital site. This encompasses diagnosis and management of visual field disorders and defects of ocular motility. Collaborative working with other members of the multi-disciplinary team is of paramount importance in this service.

Advanced practice orthoptists, who have undergone specialist practical and theoretical training provide glaucoma services to supplement medic lead clinics. These include the investigation and diagnosis of new patients referred with suspected glaucoma as well as follow up patients with diagnosed glaucoma.

The Ophthalmic Technicians attached to the Orthoptic service undertake diagnostic investigations including Corneal Pachymetry, Visual Field assessment, and Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) which are used in the diagnosis and monitoring of Glaucoma.

Community Services:

Primary Vision Screening – is offered to all children aged between 4 and 5 years that are resident within the Heart of Birmingham (HoB) Primary Care Trust and Sandwell Community Trust, in line with the recommendations of the UK National Screening Committee. Screening is carried out by Orthoptists in approximately 150 schools throughout HoB and Sandwell. Children are referred to an out-reach community clinics or BMEC / Sandwell General Hospital depending on specific clinical criteria.

Out-reach Community Paediatric Orthoptic Clinics – Orthoptic clinics are held at:

  • Aston Health Centre – weekly
  • Balsall Heath Health Centre – weekly
  • Greet Health Centre – bi-weekly
  • Soho Health Centre – weekly

These clinics provide a local, high quality service to children who have been identified through Vision Screening to have reduced visual acuity and conditions such as small angle squints that do not require surgery.

Special School Service:

Orthoptic screening is offered to all children attending special schools within the HoB PCT:

  • Mayfield Heathfield Road / Mayfield Villa Street
  • Hamilton
  • Oscott Manor
  • Wilson Stuart

In some cases children are also reviewed in special school if the hospital environment is likely to cause distress

Clinical Governance:

Clinical Audit and Research :

The Orthoptic team are actively involved in clinical audit and research and contribute to national and international evidence based practice.

Professional Development:

The personal development of team members is paramount. Education and training and continuing professional development is keen to ensuring a high calibre clinical workforce. The team provide clinical tuition of undergraduate Orthoptists and Optometrists and post graduate education for nurses, orthoptists and medical staff.


If you would like to get in contact with any part of BMEC, please dial our central number 0121 507 4440.

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