5 May 2022

Proposal to standardise services to support children with reduced vision during in-school screening

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) recognises variation in service provision and availability for children with vision deficit picked up through school vision screening in England. 1,2,3

The Post-Vision Screening: Proposals and Recommendations report delivered by the multi-disciplinary Working Group of the CCEHC, identified inconsistent services and pathways linking children who screen positive for vision impairment during their school assessments to ongoing care with specialist diagnostic and clinical management services. While a number of local pathways have been developed in parts of the country to provide follow-on care, there are variations in how these are commissioned and delivered, their outcomes, and governance arrangements. 

The CCEHC’s report provides commissioners and policy makers with over-arching principles for post-vision screening services, and proposals for high-level requirements to deliver an accountable service. 

Recommendations include:

  1. A dedicated post-vision screening service should be commissioned for children who screen positive following their vision screening assessment.
  2. The delivery of services through locally agreed pathways and governance processes, and the development of locally agreed service specifications for commissioning.

Parul Desai, Chair of the CCEHC Vision Screening Working Group, said:

“This report has highlighted a gap in service provision, and its recommendations serve to address it. Their implementation would provide assurance to parents of the care they should expect if their child screens positive following a vision screening assessment, and form the basis for local discussions amongst commissioners, clinicians and provider organisations on how best to deliver it.”

Wojciech Karwatowski, Chair of the CCEHC and Zoe Richmond, Vice-Chair of the CCEHC, said:

“Once again, the CCEHC has produced a report and recommendations which facilitate the understanding of local need and design of service provision by commissioners and providers.

The CCEHC encourages commissioners to ensure these recommendations are used to review existing arrangements and support the development of new services where they currently do not exist. Once implemented, this will serve to provide consistency in the quality and effectiveness of the care provided.”

References

  1. UK National Screening Committee. Screening for vision impairment for 4-5-year old children   
  2. Public Health England (PHE) Service specification for Child vision Screening (2017). PHE publications gateway number 2017493. 
  3. Public Health England (PHE). Vision Screening for 4-5year olds. Information for Parents (2017).  PHE publications gateway number 2017493. 

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