Visual Impairment: Children

Health written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of David Blunkett David Blunkett Labour, Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department holds on the proportion of children aged four and five years who have received screening for visual defects since 1 April 2013; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure such screening is provided universally across England in line with the recommendations of the UK National Screening Committee.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Data on the number of children aged four to five years who have received screening for visual defects since 1 April 2013 are not held centrally.

On 21 November 2013 the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) recommended that all children between four to five years of age should continue to be screened for vision defects by an orthoptist-led service. Vision defects include amblyopia, refractive error and strabismus. The UK NSC agreed that more work was needed to improve the consistency and quality of current services. The Programme Director for the UK NSC is working with the Department to consider how to inform and guide best practice across England.

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