Children’s Community Orthoptic Service

The Orthoptic Service provides children’s eye clinics at 18 locations across the city. Orthoptists are highly trained to detect and treat eye problems such as reduced vision, squint, lazy eye and eye muscle imbalance. We also provide clinics at 10 Special Schools across the city.

The team includes 8 Orthoptists and 1 Orthoptic Secretary.

The Orthoptic Service is part of a multi-disciplinary team working closely with Optometrists from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH). We refer directly to the Ophthalmology team at MREH if a doctor’s opinion is required.

We work closely with the School Health Team to train the vision screeners, who test vision at ages 4-5 in school, to ensure a high standard of testing is achieved.

  • The Orthoptic Service is a non-emergency service
  • Patients need to be registered with a Manchester GP

Our Orthoptists are specially trained to test children of all ages and abilities. No child is too young to be tested or to start treatment, even babies of 3-4 months old. Referrals are accepted for children under 8. Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can be referred up to the age of 16.

The Orthoptist checks vision development, squint, binocular function (how well the 2 eyes work together as a pair) and for eye movement disorders.

Once an eye problem has been diagnosed, your child will need a refraction eye test, which is a test, usually with eye drops, to see if glasses are required as part of your child’s treatment. This service is provided at 10 clinics across the city.

Early diagnosis and treatment is key. Normally paediatric Orthoptic treatment is completed by age 7 when the vision is fully developed. Often at the end of treatment, children can be discharged to attend their local opticians for a routine sight test annually.

Treatments may include glasses, eye patches, eye exercises and in a few cases, corrective eye surgery which takes place at MREH. Regular attendance is required to treat your child’s eye problem effectively.

The Children’s Community Orthoptic Service has an open referral access.

Parents/carers can self-refer their child by phoning or visiting their nearest clinic and speaking to the children’s community reception staff.

MFT staff can make a direct internal electronic referral on EMIS.

GPs can refer via the secure nhs.net email account: mft.orthoptic.referral@nhs.net

External NHS staff can refer by post to Levenshulme Health Centre.

Local opticians can refer by post to Levenshulme Health Centre, electronically via Webstar Health or via the GP.

All patients are triaged upon receiving the referral and placed on our waiting list. The most urgent cases will take priority.

Any emergency or out of hours cases should be referred to the Paediatric Emergency Department.

Referral Form here.

Contact information

Children’s Community Orthoptic Service
Levenshulme Health Centre
Dunstable Street
Levenshulme
Manchester
M19 3BX

Phone: 0161 470 6752

Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
We are closed on Bank Holidays and weekends.

Additional information

Car parking is available at most clinics. Parking at some clinics may be restricted, it is advisable to phone the clinic beforehand to check on parking availability.

Always bring your most up to date glasses with you to every appointment.

Useful Links

Orthoptic Clinics List 2022
Special School Service Provision 2022

Page last reviewed: October 2022
Next review due: October 2023