25 September 2020

Improving eye care for children with learning disabilities

In the September issue of Optometry in Practice, we discuss the importance of establishing a new framework for eye care in special schools

“Half of all special school students in England have a significant problem with their eyes or vision, with at least a third needing refractive correction…Yet only around 1 in 10 of this vulnerable group has ever been to a community optical practice.”

In the latest issue of Optometry in Practice, our CPD/CET journal, Lisa Donaldson MCOptom, Clinical Lead at SeeAbility, discusses the importance of establishing a new framework for eye care in special schools.

Research shows that there is a high likelihood of vision issues among people with learning disabilities. SeeAbility have been making the case for targeted eye care and reform in special schools, and their Framework for Special Schools Eye Care is now recommended by NHS England, who have committed to establishing it in all English special schools.

Establishing this eye care programme will involve multidisciplinary collaboration between primary and secondary care, optometrists, dispensing opticians, orthoptists and schools, eventually reaching nearly 120,000 children in special schools. 

You can find out more about NHS England’s Special Schools Eye Care Programme by contacting Lisa Donaldson MCOptom.
 
Read Lisa’s guest editorial and research article in Optometry in Practice.
 

Related further reading

It is rare for respiratory viruses to cause eye infections, writes Kim Thomas, but they may use the eye as a portal of entry. And what is the mechanism behind their travel to the respiratory system?

How do clinicians choose between generic and branded drugs, balancing the need for patient safety against cost? Kathy Oxtoby takes a look.

The College’s Clinical Editor, Jane Veys MCOptom, on the gaps that exist in practice and between people