November 19, 2010 2.53 pm This story is over 140 months old

Hospital’s new service eyes kids

Seeing clearly: A new department has been set up in the hospital for children with visual impairments.

Lincoln County Hospital said it will be helping more children with serious visual impairments with a new dedicated service.

The hospital now has a paediatric low vision service, to give children the care and equipment to manage their sight problems from their own home and school.

Orthoptic staff member Catherine Kidals set up the clinic so children could go to the hospital with their parents, with a specialist teacher.

Because of this involvement of both parents and teachers, the extent of impairment can be discussed and everyone can be trained accordingly.

Head Orthoptist at Lincoln County Hospital Pam King, said the new service hopes to provide a premium standard for visiually impaired children.

“Previously, children were seen in school by a teacher for the visually impaired and given a low vision aid from their stock, but this did not necessarily correspond to the child’s vision needs and so wasn’t a very effective way of working.

“But the children are now seen at the hospital clinic by an orthoptist and a teacher for the visually impaired.

“At that time their vision and their individual needs and problems are assessed and the appropriate low vision aid is ordered, all in one visit.

“The child gets a better all round service from two different viewpoints and the parent or guardian is able to ask questions.

“The child is then seen in school with their low vision aid and the teacher for the visually impaired instructs the class teacher and classroom assistants to ensure the aid is used correctly.”

The department recently underwent a service audit to see if the change had been successful, and 100% of those seen felt their child had benefited.

The department is also available in Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

Source: ULHT | Photo: Noir Imp