Special Schools Eye Care Service revived!
We are delighted to receive confirmation from the government that NHS sight tests will be on offer to all pupils in special schools from 2024/2025. The commitment to all special schools and accompanying funding to support it is hugely welcome, and that the existing NHS Special Schools Eye Care Service will continue until the new programme is up and running.
Minister Neil O’Brien said:
“I am pleased we will be able to support sight testing for all pupils in special schools, an environment where they feel more comfortable.
“We have worked closely with NHS England, stakeholders and charities to extend this important service and thousands of pupils will benefit as a result.
“It’s vital for all children to have access to NHS sight tests and I’m grateful to all those who helped make this possible.”
Backed by a more than £10 million investment, the extension is expected to help up to an estimated 165,000 more children and will begin from 2024/25."
We know beyond doubt how valuable and successful pioneering eye care in special schools has been for the past two years, and this ends the uncertainty over the current scheme for children, parents and schools. It changes lives and many thousands more children are now set to benefit.
Our CEO, Lisa Hopkins, says:
“The announcement today means thousands of children who would have no other way of getting sight tests and glasses will now get a service in their school, and many thousands more will not have to attend hospital eye clinic appointments. It is no exaggeration to say sight will be saved and lives will be transformed.
Thank you to everyone who has held firm for this model of care during a period of uncertainty. Today is such a significant and wonderful step forward in improving eye care for people with learning disabilities.”
We look forward to working with the government, NHS and all who have made this work possible over many years to make this newly planned rollout successful. We’ll also continue the work to improve eye care for all people with learning disabilities!