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Paediatric ophthalmology is the care of children and young people with eye and visual problems. Our ophthalmology service specialises in the assessment and management of eye disease and disorders of visual development in children, and we see more than 17,000 patients each year.
Our experienced team uses the very latest diagnostic equipment and techniques to care for patients with a range of common eye and visual problems like a squint, to more severe problems like cataract, glaucoma or retinal detachment which occur particularly as a result of premature birth and eye tumours.
Investigations and services provided by our department include:
We also provide an orthoptic service - find out more in the tabs below.
Please find our patient information leaflet here.
1. Wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All our staff will now be wearing PPE for every patient encounter. This is obviously a new look for us and we are aware that it is not a very child-friendly look but this way we can keep everyone safe! Some equipment can be kept on for the whole session (eg masks) but most will be changed in between patients.
2. Cleaning of equipment and rooms
There will be more stringent cleaning in between patients after they enter a room. This includes a wipe down of all equipment, surfaces, door handles, and switches.
3. Waiting areas
Please practice social distancing whilst in the hospital. There are now modified waiting areas to encourage physical distancing. There are also newly formed sub-wait rooms that are situated in the clinic corridor rather than the main waiting areas. It is also possible that you may be asked to stay inside a clinic room for a short duration of time instead of being sat back in the waiting room in between seeing different clinicians.
4. Telephone Clinics, Video Clinics, and Virtual Clinics
We are currently reorganising our services to accommodate the above clinics. These clinics will replace a conventional face-to-face appointment. However, they will only take place if we deem that a patient is suitable for it. If you have been placed into a Telephone or Video clinic, a standard appointment letter will be sent to you and you will be expected to make yourself available during that allocated date and time. If your child has been put into a Virtual clinic, a review of your clinical notes will take place and the decision will be communicated to you via phone or letter.
5. Discharge by phone or letter
If your child is a long term or stable patient who is ready for transition or for discharge from clinic, we may contact you via one of the two ways above to confirm this decision. We appreciate that a few families will prefer a telephone call to discuss some specific points. If you receive a letter informing you about a discharge from the service but you wish to discuss this with the clinical team, feel free to get in touch with us.
Please bear with us as these new adjustments may result in delays to the usual standard of care.
If you are a health professional, please visit this page to see the most up to date triage guidance attached with the relevant contact details. https://alderhey.nhs.uk/services/ophthalmology/triage
If you are already a patient and you need to contact us, please call one of the below numbers:
0151 293 3595
0151 252 5961
0151 252 5839
0151 252 5828
If you have an appointment you need to rearrange or cancel, please contact our Appointment Centre.
We have an email address firstname.lastname@example.org. However, this email is for professional use only. It is STRICTLY not for patient use as it is not monitored by clinicians. Patients are advised to use the phone numbers above.
On your child’s first visit to Ophthalmology, it is likely that they will be seen by a variety of professionals in the department and you may be here for several hours. Once you have booked in at reception, your child may have their eyesight tested by a nurse or healthcare assistant or they may need to see an Orthoptist.
Orthoptists are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of ocular motility disorders and problems relating to children’s visual development. The orthoptist will assess what your child can see, the position of the eyes, the ocular motility and the state of binocular function (use of the two eyes together).Any findings will be explained to you.
Your child is likely to need eye drops. These dilate the pupils so that the Optometrist or doctors can view the back of the eye and assess if there is a need for glasses accurately. The drops do sting a little at first but this wears off very quickly. Your child will have blurred vision for close vision and may be sensitive to bright light. These are normal side effects and wear off usually after a few hours but may last up to 24 hours. You will then be directed back to the waiting room to allow time for the drops to take effect, which may take at least 30 minutes.
Your child may not need to attend all departments within Ophthalmology each time you visit, and may not need drops every time.
Community Orthoptic clinics
We currently offer new and follow up Orthoptic clinics for patients at:
South Liverpool NHS treatment centre, 32 Church Road, Garston, Liverpool L19 2LW. 0151 295 9000.
May Logan Centre – 294 Knowsley Road, Bootle, L20 5DQ - call 0151 922 8588
These clinics typically accept new patient referrals from school nurses or health visitors and also accommodate follow up appointments generated from this.
Action for Blind People
In the summer of 2019, our department sat down and compiled a list of values that we felt were important to us and our patients. These 5 values were unanimously voted as the most important ones.
1. Always ensure our patient experience is a positive one.
2. Ensure clinics start and run on time to the best of our abilities.
3. Work as a team.
4. Inform patient’s family: What will happen during appointment, diagnosis, and future management. Communication is Key!
5. Treat patients, families and colleagues the way I would like my family and I to be treated.
1. Fellowship program
Alder Hey runs a successful fellowship program. Each fellowship lasts for approximately 12 months. There is currently one fellowship post although there might be capacity to increase this to two posts in 2021. The fellow rotates through all subspecialist clinics as well as paediatric eye emergency clinics. He/she will have ample opportunities to work with all consultants. There is good exposure to surgery in paediatric ophthalmology, the majority of which will be in strabismus training. During this fellowship, there will be exposure to rare pathologies, advanced paediatric conditions, interesting diagnostic conundrums, and also general paediatric ophthalmology. There are numerous opportunities to do research, teaching and audit. There is a weekly departmental teaching, a fortnightly surgical MDT, and a monthly journal club – all of which requires active participation from the fellow.
2. Deanery training
We have two registrars (junior doctors) who work in our department for a period of 6 months as part of their Mersey Ophthalmology training. These registrars are also part of the regionwide on-call rota for ophthalmology. We offer a robust timetable which includes plenty of time for research and professional developmental activities. There are ample training opportunities available and we are concordant with the training syllabus from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. We also take pride in being able to support our registrars when they are taking their college exams, either through extra teaching, simulated exam scenarios during clinics, or the granting of study leave.
3. Medical student
Currently, we host Year 4 medical students from the University of Liverpool for adhoc clinics or as part of their undergraduate rotation in Alder Hey (email UGemail@example.com). Medical students will have a chance to get exposure to ophthalmology as a specialty and obtain a closer look at the interesting world of paediatric ophthalmology. We also have the ability to house medical students for their student selected component.
There are potential opportunities for interested medical students who wish to complete a MRes (intercalated degrees) in a paediatric ophthalmology project in conjunction with the University of Liverpool. We would encourage you to get in touch to discuss this @ firstname.lastname@example.org
4. International Observers
We are a friendly department that has hosted many international observers over the last few years. Alder Hey has had an international partnership with the Beijing Huatong Guokang Foundation since 2018. Throughout this partnership, we have so far facilitated observerships for 7 ophthalmologists from China for a period of 3 months each.
For enquires about any of the training and education programmes above: email email@example.com
1. Prereg programme
Alder Hey offers a week long observation week for graduate optometrists on the scheme for registration. This is a unique opportunity to gain valuable paediatric experience in Orthoptics, optometry and ophthalmology skills. The programme is designed to achieve as many competencies that are required within the colleges’ scheme for registration. If you are a pre-registration optometrist and would like to apply for an observation week please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Undergraduate orthoptics
Alder Hey is an affiliated clinical teaching centre for undergraduate Orthoptic students. We accept students from the university of Liverpool and Sheffield. We support students of all levels of experience from first years to third years. We also support the clinical training of undergraduate optometrists, junior doctors and nurses.
Our previous fellows:
Jose underwent postgraduate ophthalmology training at the Tennent Institute in Glasgow, Yorkshire, St.Paul’s Eye Unit, Alder Hey Children’s and other hospitals in Merseyside.
In 2006, he was appointed Consultant Ophthalmologist in Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the School of Medicine, University of Liverpool. Since 2015, he has been Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and has been Clinical Director of ophthalmology since 2016.
He has special interests in visual development, strabismus, childhood cataracts and uveitis. Jose has also a keen interest in ophthalmology teaching and training, having completed a Diploma in Clinical Education, and is an examiner with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. He is also the College Tutor and Fellowship Director. Jose has a practice in adult general ophthalmology where he looks after patients with cataracts, glaucoma and oculomotility conditions.
Damien joined as a Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist in March 2019. He completed his ophthalmology training in Wales before undertaking two fellowships in paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus where he trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Bart’s Health NHS Trust, and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Damien has special interests in general paediatric ophthalmology, cataracts, strabismus, developmental disorders, ophthalmic genetics, and paediatric retinal disease. He also works for the neonatal unit in the Liverpool Women’s Hospital looking after patients with retinopathy of prematurity. He is part of the team that was the first in the country to use the PANOCAM Pro for ROP screening as well as first in the country to use the Visisure system for anti-vegf injections in neonates. Damien also works in St Paul’s Eye Unit at the Royal Liverpool Hospital where he treats adult ocular motility patients. He was a previous examiner for the Royal College of Ophthalmologist and was also on the faculty as a trainer for the Royal College’s microsurgical skills course. Currently, he is also a NHS Clinical Entrepreneur with a keen interest in developing paediatric visual health solutions.
He is passionate about a sustainable future, which he strongly believes will involve tele-ophthalmology, artificial intelligence, digital solutions and the up-skilling of all allied health professionals.
Ankur also joined the department as a Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist in March 2019. He has undertaken ophthalmology training in East Midlands, Cambridge and Taunton, prior to completing his training in the Mersey deanery.
He undertook a fellowship in paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus in Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Ankur has special interests in cataracts, strabismus, paediatric anterior segment and oculoplastic conditions.
He also runs a special clinical-research clinic in cerebral visual impairment which is the first ever clinic of its type in Alder Hey. He also has completed a MD in Ophthalmology from the University of Liverpool. One of his passions is teaching, and he has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education (PGCME) from the University of Dundee. Ankur also works at St Paul’s Eye Unit with special interests in neuro-ophthalmology and adult ocular motility.
Mr. Arvind Chandna
Arvind was a previous full time consultant up till 2015. He completed his paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus fellowship at Bascom Palmer in Miami and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco. He is now a senior clinician-scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute but remains as an honorary consultant in our department and is our research director. His current research includes investigating the relationship of accommodation and vergence, visual function loss in amblyopia and cerebral visual impairment.
Mr. Harish Nayak
Harish was a previous full time consultant up till 2018. He has moved his practice to India but is still a part time consultant with us. He is a keen educator and has an interest in all aspects of paediatric ophthalmology including strabismus, cataracts, and neuro-ophthalmology.
Mr.Austin McCormick - Paediatric Oculoplastics
Mr.Dave Assheton - Paediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology
Mr.Amit Chhabra - General Paediatric Ophthalmology
Jodie Pendlebury – Specialist Nurse
Jodie has been an ophthalmology outpatient nurse since 2009. She has developed skills in imaging, visual fields, and vision testing. She has been running the nurse-led watery eye and eyelid cyst clinic since June 2018. She also trains parents on how to insert contact lenses into babies as young as 8 weeks old. In 2021, she became the first Paediatric Ophthalmic Specialist Nurse in the history of Alder Hey.
Christine Jackson – Clinic Manager
Sally Rowlands – Staff Nurse
Sally recently joined us in December 2019. She is an experienced outpatient nurse and has developed skills in imaging, visual fields, and vision testing.
Emma Murphy – Staff Nurse
Amanda Yates – Health Care Assistant
Amanda our health care assistant has been with us for 13 years. She acts as our ophthalmic technician, this includes OCT and retinal imaging and teaches new staff how to use the machines.
Sarah Foster – Health Care Assistant
Sarah joined us in February 2020. She has developed skills in imaging, visual fields, and vision testing.
Carol McNally – Health Care Assistant
Ian Cunningham: Lead Optometrist
Ian is a qualified orthoptist and optometrist and has led the optometry service since 2016. He has a background in research completing the largest normal growth of the eye in 2015. He is enthusiastic in education and research whilst continuing to expend the optometry service at Alder Hey.
Derek has vast experience in hospital optometry particularly paediatric optometry and joined the hospital from Preston HES. He leads the low vision service and has transformed this service for the children in our area.
Claire is a skilled optometrist and has experience in electrodiagnostics. She leads the contact lens clinics.
Joanne is an experienced optometrist and works in hospital and community optometry. She also works with children with low vision.
Kathy is an experienced hospital optometrist and shares this role with Alder Hey and Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral. She has completed independent prescribing and works within paediatric cataract and uveitis clinics.
Judith Gray: Head of Optical Services
Susan Foster: Lead Orthoptist (BSc Orthoptics)
Qualified from University of Liverpool in 2000 and immediately began her career in the Ophthalmology Department here at Alder Hey. Joined Arrowe Park Hospital in 2001. Returned to Alder Hey in 2002 to the present day.
Special interest: Neuro-Ophthalmology including Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI)
Research and audit interests: CVI, Use of Botulinum Toxin in Strabismus, Stereopsis.
Has presented work nationally and internationally;
Orthoptic International Congresses in Australia, Belgium and UK.
The Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO), in Fort Lauderdale USA.
Julie Senior: Orthoptist
Qualified 1998 DBO (Diploma in British Orthoptics), 1991 C.A.S.E. (Orthoptics) 1994 Bsc(Hons), 1998 MSc.
Lead Clinical Tutor
Areas of special interest: Clinical education, Paediatric cataracts, ROP.
Caroline Fanning: Orthoptist (BSc Orthoptics)
Qualified in Orthoptics at the University of Liverpool in 2005.
SEN lead, specialist interests include visual impairment and Cerebral Visual Impairment, also a member of the Developmental Vision Team. Caroline has worked full time at Alder Hey since March 2009.
Giles Pullan: Orthoptist (BSc Orthoptics)
Qualified from University of Liverpool in 2008.
Previously worked at Wigan Infirmary and Wrexham Maelor before joining Alder Hey in 2020.
Specialist interests: Special Educational Needs, Clinical Education of Orthoptic students and Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI). Clinical Tutor
Rebecca Molyneux: Orthoptist (BSc Orthoptics)
Graduated in 2016 from University of Liverpool and worked at Manchester Royal Eye before joining Alder Hey in 2019. Special interests: Neuro Ophthalmology.
Clinical Tutor, Medical Exemptions qualification
Eve Lynch: Orthoptist (BSc Orthoptics)
Qualified from University of Liverpool in 2013.
Previously worked at Pennine care and Ysbyty Gwynedd, before joining Alder hey in 2016. Specialist interest: Neuro Ophthalmology and CVI.
Lowri Jones: Orthoptist (BMedSci Orthoptics)
Qualified from the University of Sheffield in 2018
Previously worked at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust before joining Alder Hey in 2020.
Special Interest: Research, craniofacial and neuro-ophthalmology
Amber Griffin: Orthoptist (BSc Orthoptics)
Qualified from University of Liverpool in 2020
Began working at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in 2020
Interested in amblyopia treatments and vision screening
Medical Exemptions qualification
Richard Hagan - Head of Visual Electrophysiology Services
Matty Upton - Service Manager
Stevi Farmer - Operational Manager
Susan Mcdonald – Pathway Co-Ordinator
Alison Stewart - Pathway Co-Ordinator
Yvonne Rees – Pathway Co-Ordinator
Jenni Higgins – Pathway Co-Ordinator
Alder Hey Children's Charity