Uptake, referral and attendance: results from an inner city school based vision screening programme

Publication authors

Alison Bruce, Louise Outhwaite


Aim: To review the children’s school vision screening service in order to investigate the uptake, referral pattern and follow-up attendance.

Methods: The children were screened in school. The vision screening results of the children screened in the academic year 2011–2012 were reviewed for both uptake of screening and subsequent attendance for the follow-up assessment. Attendance outcomes from children referred to an optometrist of their choice and also those children referred to the Hospital Eye Service (HES) were reviewed.

Results: Of the 5786 children eligible for vision screening in school 5409 were screened (96.7%). A total of 866 (16%) of children were referred for further investigation; 534 (9.87%) were referred to an optometrist of their choice and 332 (6%) were referred to the Hospital Eye Service (HES). 479 (55.3%) attended the first appointment sent. 114 (34.4%) failed to attend (FTA) the HES and 257 (48.13%) failed to attend their local optometrist. Recall appointments for the HES yielded a 10.54% increase in coverage and recall appointments sent to attend local optometrists yielded a 14.23% increase in coverage.

Conclusions: Vision screening in school provides the opportunity for universal coverage. However, the failure to attend for follow-up both in the community and in the Hospital Eye Service (HES) suggests that a high proportion of children fail to benefit from appropriate treatment. Further research is required to provide an insight into the reasons for failing to attend that subsequently limit access.