Welcome to the Orthoptic Department

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-362/2021
  • Departments: Ophthalmology Department, Orthoptic
  • Last Updated: 15 October 2021


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about the orthoptic department. Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet.  It is not meant to replace the discussion between you and your child’s orthoptist, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading this leaflet you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

Who is the Orthoptist?

The orthoptist is a member of the eye care team who is trained in the management of children’s eye problems.

Where is the department?

The orthoptic department is part of the Eye Clinic at Hull Royal Infirmary which is situated on the ground floor of the Clinical Skills Building on Fountain Street. If you come to the hospital by car, parking is available in Argyle Street car park for which there is a charge. On arrival please report to the Eye Clinic reception desk where you will be directed to the orthoptic department.

How long will it take?

You should expect to be in the clinic for at least 20 minutes, although occasionally tests may take up to an hour. The department is a teaching department therefore we may ask if your child can be examined by an orthoptic student under the direction of a clinical tutor. If you have any objections to this, please let the staff know.

Will we have to wait?

We try hard to see your child on time, however as you will appreciate emergency patients sometimes have to take priority.  You can help us by arriving on time (please allow enough time to park and find the department). If you are late we will try and fit your child in, but there may be a long wait before we can do so.

How will my child be tested?

Your child will be asked to look at pictures and/or match letters. There is no need for your child to worry about the tests, they are chosen to match your child’s age and ability and most children enjoy doing them. Your child may need to wear a patch for a few minutes so that the eyes can be tested separately. If your child has glasses, please remember to bring them. No eye drops are used for orthoptic tests.

Who should accompany my child?

Ideally, one parent or guardian should accompany the child. If you have other children it is helpful if you can arrange to have them looked after while you are attending the clinic. By providing a quiet environment, without any distractions, the child being tested will be able to concentrate and is more likely to have a successful test. Clinic space is limited so it is also helpful if only one parent comes into the clinic while your child is being tested.

What if I cannot keep the appointment for my child?

If you are unable to attend please let us know as soon as possible.

Our direct line telephone number is (01482) 816605 (with a 24-hour answerphone). We will arrange another time for your child to be seen. If you miss an appointment, you will receive a letter informing you of this. Another appointment will not automatically be sent.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Orthoptic Department on telephone number (01482) 816605.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats your child, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to your child. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your child’s condition, the alternatives available for your child, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about your child

We collect and use your child’s information to provide your child with care and treatment. As part of your child’s care, information about your child will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your child’s information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide your child with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your child’s doctor, or the person caring for your child.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about your child. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you need information about your child’s (or a child you care for) health and wellbeing and their care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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