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UK National Screening Committee policy on Vision defects screening in children

14 January 2014

College Statement

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists supports the recommendation of the National Screening Committee that screening for visual impairment in children, between the ages of 4 and 5 years, should be offered by an orthoptic-led service.

The College strongly advocates early screening for the detection of visual problems and eye disorders in children at the appropriate age. Early detection of amblyopia, for this age group, is critical to avoid permanent visual impairment and improve the provision and outcomes for children with eye conditions such as refractive error and strabismus. Ophthalmic professionals should support local implementation of the existing national recommendations. All screening programmes should be part of a regular audit cycle.

The UK National Screening Committee regularly reviews policy on screening for different conditions in the light of new research evidence becoming available.