There are 13 Orthoptists employed by the Trust. Orthoptists are Allied Health Professionals who are trained to investigate, diagnose and treat eye movement and visual development disorders. This includes squint (strabismus), lazy eye (amblyopia), refractive errors (long sight, short sight and astigmatism) and double vision (diplopia).

The Orthoptists work closely with the Consultant Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Ophthalmic technicians and nurses and are part of a wide ranging multi-disciplinary team including support workers from the Kent Association for the Blind and advisory teachers for children with visual impairment.

The Orthoptists hold clinics at Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Medway and Sittingbourne hospitals and aim to see patients in their most conveniently located clinic. However some specialist and adult clinics only run at Maidstone Hospital so this is not always possible.

The Orthoptists visit special schools and primary and infant schools in Medway and Swale to screen all reception class children for reduced vision. The Orthoptists also have extended specialist training in the assessment of stroke patients, Glaucoma, children with visual impairment, children with multiple special needs and people with specific learning disabilities e.g. visual stress and tracking problems associated with dyslexia.

Making an appointment

If you suspect your child has a squint, reduced vision or lazy eye or you develop double vision you should see your GP or optician. If they decide that your eye condition needs to be investigated by eye specialists they will arrange a referral to the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Ophthalmology department or another eye care provider. If you choose to be treated at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust you will be sent a letter confirming the date, time and location of your appointment with us.

If your GP or optician decides that you need to be seen urgently they will contact the Rapid Access Clinic in the eye unit to discuss your condition with an ophthalmic practitioner to arrange an appointment.

If your child attends a primary, infant or special school in Medway and Swale they will be offered a routine eye test by an Orthoptist during their reception year. You will be notified of the date of their school eye test and the results will be sent home to you.

If your child is seen by a Community Paediatrician at Medway Hospital they can refer your child for an Orthoptic assessment in the Magpie Centre at Medway Hospital.

Contact information

Orthoptic department, EEMU
Maidstone Hospital
Hermitage Lane
Maidstone ME16 9QQ

Clinics – Monday to Friday
Appointment enquiries – 01622 226236

Orthoptic department, Eye Clinic
Tunbridge Wells Hospital
Tonbridge Road
Tunbridge Wells TN2 4QJ

Clinics – Monday to Thursday
Appointment enquiries – 01622 228218

Orthoptic Department, Eye Unit
Medway Hospital
Windmill Road
Gillingham ME7 5NY

Clinics – Monday to Friday
Appointment enquiries – 01622 228218

Orthoptic Department
Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital
Bell Road
Sittingbourne ME10 4DT

Clinics – Monday and Thursday
Appointment enquiries – 01795 418300 ext 2012

Community Orthoptic Services, Residence 13
Medway Hospital
Windmill Road
Gillingham ME7 5NY

Clinics – Magpie Centre – Monday afternoon

Primary, Infant and Special Schools – Monday to Friday

Appointment enquiries – 01634 830000 ext 5313