Referrals to Visual Impairment team

Who we can accept icon

We can only accept referrals made to our service by an NHS ophthalmologist (Eye Hospital).

If you are worried about your child’s eyesight, talk to your health visitor if they are under 5. If they are older take them to be assessed by an optician. The optician may refer your child to the eye department at the hospital.

An ophthalmologist will assess the child's eyesight and make a diagnosis. If they are found to be visually impaired, the hospital will refer your child to us if they meet our criteria. You will be told if your child is being referred to us.

Read what happens at an ophthalmologist appointment on RNIB's website.

What is visual impairment icon

What is visual impairment?

Visual impairment can have different levels: mild, moderate, severe or profound.

You can learn about vision loss from NatSIP.

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Moving to Hampshire

If you are moving to Hampshire your current Specialist Teacher Advisory Service will notify us directly. We will then contact you to request your consent to us seeing your child and to share medical information.

Our criteria

We do:

support children whose eyesight can't be corrected with glasses including:

  • a diagnosed visual impairment by an ophthalmologist (Eye Hospital)
  • a moderate, severe or profound visual loss (with a visual acuity of 6/12 or worse on the Snellen eye chart)
  • a significant field loss (tunnel vision)
  • a degenerative visual condition

We support children from birth up to the age of 25 if they are still in full time education; with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

We don't:

see children with:

  • monocular vision
  • visual processing difficulties
  • colour vision deficiency (colour blindness)
  • squint

If your child has a degenerative condition we may place them on request and see them if there are any changes to their vision.

Consent received icon

Your consent

If we confirm your child meets our criteria we will write to you to request your consent to us seeing your child and to share medical information. If we don't receive your consent we can't proceed with supporting your child.

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Contacting you

When we receive your consent, we aim to contact you within two weeks to arrange a visit. We work term time only so our timescales may extend during the school holidays.

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Next steps

We will then offer support depending on your child’s level of need. We will review this with regular assessments.