Vision screening of 4 to 5 year olds at school entry

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The College of Optometrists

Dear FOI officer

The British and Irish Orthoptic Society on behalf of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning are writing to make an open request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

There is a national recommendation, by the UK National Screening committee, to offer orthoptic-led vision screening to children at aged 4-5 years, mainly to ensure that amblyopia (reduced vision), is detected and treated at an age where treatment has the potential to improve vision.

Public Health England introduced service specifications for a Vision Screening Service in 2017. We are concerned that a Vision Screening service is currently not being offered to all children aged 4-5 years in England leading to inequality of eye health care provision.

We are aware that the responsibility for commissioning 0 - 5 year children’s public health services has transferred from the NHS to Local Authorities; and that in addition there are to be significant cuts to Local Authority Public Health funding which may affect these services

We would be grateful if you could answer the following questions (for the financial year 2019/2020) to determine the arrangements made by your local authority to commission vision screening for your eligible resident population and it’s quality assurance.

We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Olivier Denève
Secretary to the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning

Questions

1. Do you currently commission vision screening in school of children aged 4-5 years old? Y / N

If YES, would you please:

2. List the key features of your commissioned screening service:

a. Settings (e.g. school).
b. Screening personnel (e.g. orthoptist, school nurse or other health professional).
c. The onward care pathway for children who fail the vision screening.
d. The quality assurance (QA) processes (audit) and identified clinical lead for the vision screening service

3. Tell us how you monitor if every child in your Local Authority has been tested (including those in private schools or those who are home-schooled).

4. Tell us whether the programme will be commissioned again in the next financial year

5. If NO- you do not currently commission a vision screening service in your area, would you please tell us :

a. why you do not commission vision screening?
b. whether a service is planned for the next financial year (2020/21)?
c. whether an existing service in your area has been recently decommissioned?

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Good Afternoon,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request ENQ-340717-Y7P0G4

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received on 17 June 2019.

We have up to 20 working days in which to deal with your request. If we require clarification regarding your request, we will contact you to explain this. The 20 working day period will then start from the day that we receive your clarification.

You will also be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying copies of the information.

Please also be aware that, if the requested information contains references to any third parties, we may need to consult these individuals about the release of their personal data before making a decision whether or not to release the information to you.

We will also provide an explanation if any information is not released to you.

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please contact the team by email [email address] or by telephone 01603 222661.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Cooper, Business Support Assistant
Information Compliance Team
Dept: 01603 222661
Room 043, County Hall, Norwich

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Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Olivier Deneve
 
Freedom of Information Request ENQ- 340717-Y7P0G4
 
I refer to your request for information dated 17 June 2019.
 
You asked for:
 

 1. Do you currently commission vision screening in school of children
aged 4-5 years old?         

 
Our response     Yes
 
 
 

* If YES, would you please:

 

 2. List the key features of your commissioned screening service:

 
Our response:
 

Screening is delivered in education
establishments, with community
 1. Settings (e.g. school settings used for home-schooled
children.
 
Screening is delivered by staff
 2. Screening personnel (e.g. trained specifically for the role.
orthoptist, school nurse or other They also do hearing screening and
health professional) NCMP. Their job title is ‘5-19
screeners’.
 
Children who fail the screening are
 3. The onward care pathway for referred on for further assessment
children who fail the vision at acute hospitals - or optician by
screening. parental choice
 
The vision screening service is
Orthoptist-led, with training,
 4. The quality assurance (QA) assessment and quality assurance
processes (audit) and identified built in to the process. The
clinical lead for the vision screeners have annual training, are
screening service observed in practice bi-annually and
can access supervision from an
orthoptist when they need to.
 

 
 
 

 3. Tell us how you monitor if every child in your Local Authority has
been tested (including those in private schools or those who are
home-schooled).

 
Our response:    We monitor uptake against the number of eligible children
in the educational establishments. The service is offered to private
schools and to home schooled children.
 
 

 4. Tell us whether the programme will be commissioned again in the next
financial year

 
Our response:    Yes
 

 5. If NO- you do not currently commission a vision screening service in
your area, would you please tell us :

 
Our response:    Not applicable.
 
 
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your request you have the
right of appeal through the Council’s internal review procedure by setting
out the grounds of your appeal in writing to:
 
[1][email address]
or Information Compliance Team
Room 043
County Hall
Martineau Lane
Norwich
NR1 2DH
 
An appeal should be submitted within 40 working days of the date of this
notice and should be identified as "FOI Appeal".
 
If you are dissatisfied after pursuing the complaints procedure, you may
apply to the Information Commissioner under Section 50 of the Act for a
decision whether your request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act.  Refer to the ICO
Website at: [2]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on how to report a
concern.  Or you can write to them at:
 
First Contact Team
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane, Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Yours sincerely
 
Bev Whittaker, Information Compliance Officer
Information Management
Tel: 01603 638017 | Dept: 01603 222661
Room 43, Lower Ground South, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich
  
 

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