Optometrists at the Royal Gwent Hospital work closely with their ophthalmology and orthoptist colleagues in the management of children who have eye conditions, such as strabismus (or squint), which might affect their visual development.
Optometrists assess children in order to determine if spectacles are required as a part of their ongoing treatment. This is known as a refraction test. If your child needs a refraction test then eye drops are usually necessary on the day of the test. The drops used will usually take effect after about 25-30 minutes so please allow plenty of time for your child’s appointment and bring something to entertain your child as well as plenty to drink if the weather gets hot. If spectacles are deemed necessary after the refraction test, we will issue a spectacle prescription for you to take to your local optician for the supply of glasses. The spectacle prescription is known as a voucher for glasses.
We do not dispense spectacles at the Royal Gwent Hospital therefore the spectacle prescription has to be taken to an Optician’s practice.
Some groups of patients, including children under 16 years old, are eligible for a voucher which gives financial help towards the cost of spectacles. The monetary value attached to the spectacle voucher will depend on the strength of the lenses necessary for each individual child. The Department of Health is the body which sets the voucher levels every year. This is the link for further information
Some opticians will provide glasses covered by the voucher value whilst others may make an additional charge, particularly if the lenses have to be made thinner. The optometrist will explain this to you when your child is seen.
Optometrists work closely with our ophthalmology colleagues in the provision of care for patients if there is a need for contact lenses. We provide a contact lens fitting service and manage patients when there is a clinical need as recommended by your ophthalmology consultant. Contact lenses can be provided in the Ophthalmology Department only if clinically indicated and only if your consultant has recommended this. We cannot usually supply contact lenses if normal vision can be obtained with spectacles.