Skip to main content

Orthoptists

Volume 77: debated on Monday 15 April 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make it his policy that, because of the increasing work load associated with glaucoma patients health authority staffing of orthoptists in proportion to catchment population should be 1 to 40,000; and if he will make a statement.

We value highly the work of orthoptists, including the work they do with glaucoma patients. Provision of staff for this work must however be a matter for individual health authorities, based on their knowledge of local circumstances and priorities.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will describe the work done by orthoptists employed by the health authorities.

Orthoptists work under the overall direction of consultant ophthalmologists. They are concerned mainly with the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of patients, most of them children, and with disorder of the function of the eye muscles, particularly squints. They may also work in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a list showing, by regional health authorities (a) the number of whole-time equivalent orthoptists employed in each year since 1981 and (b) on the latest available figures, the ratio of whole-time equivalent orthoptists to catchment population.

The information is as follows. The latest available figures are for 30 September 1983. As there are no centrally defined catchment populations for orthoptists the ratios to resident population have been given.