Avoidable sight loss is being reduced and life choices for children in Gloucestershire are being enhanced thanks to changes in Children’s visual screening.

The improved arrangements, for 4 and 5 year old school children, include the screening test for refractive errors and amblyopia (‘lazy eye’).

The new electronic system, replacing a paper based approach, uses a lap top and headphones with instructions available in different languages. The more efficient 3 minute test is easier to audit and allows additional time to measure height and weight.

The results are impressive – an audit shows that screening update has increased from 66% to 90% (change in parental consent to opt out rather than to opt in), false positives have reduced from 31% to 18% and true positives have increased from 5% to 12%.

The developments in eye health are a result of joint working between the CCG, NHS Trusts, school nurses, the County Council (Public Health) and Community Optometrists.