CET Points

NHS England & Improvement Special School Eye Care Service 

Cheshire & Merseyside and Lancashire & South Cumbria

CET Event

Wednesday 21st October 2020, 18:30-20:00

1 CET Point available to all attendees

Cheshire & Merseyside and Lancashire & South Cumbria have worked collaboratively with health care colleagues across the locality to be amongst the very first regions to launch NHS England & Improvement’s (NHSE/I) new eye care service, developed specifically for children with a learning disability and/or autism attending a special school.

You are invited to attend this CET event comprising a short film, Q&A session and presentations which will set out why this service is so important, how it differs from current provision, the background and research leading up to implementation, and the revolutionary difference it will make to a disadvantaged sector of the population.

Why is this event important?

Children with special needs are 28 times more likely to have visual problems than other children, yet only 10% will have ever received a sight test in a community setting and 44% will have never received a sight test.

Poor vision is often overlooked as a contributory factor towards challenging behaviours and can mask a child’s true potential. This new NHSE/I funded service will help to address existing inequalities by providing a range of eye care services including sight tests and dispensing spectacles to all students on the school premises. The service will support teachers, parents and children to use their vision in the best way to help them with communication skills, mobility and independence, giving them the opportunity to realise their full social and educational potential

Attending this event will enable you to ask questions and find out more about:

·         How clinicians from across the eye care sector can work together to deliver comprehensive eye care services in special schools.

·         How the service differs from anything else you are currently involved with and goes beyond provision of clinical services alone.

·         How the service will be commissioned and funded.

·         What support will be available to performers who are interested in delivering this service, and how you can get involved.

  • The difference it will make to the lives of over 100,000 children attending special schools across England.


Lisa Donaldson is an optometrist and clinical lead for SeeAbility’s special schools eye care services which have provided eye care and spectacle dispensing to over 1,000 children in 9 special schools around England since 2013. Lisa has many years of experience in community and hospital eye care as well as teaching at City, University of London at undergraduate and Masters level. She received the Giles van Colle College of Optometrists Research Excellence Award for Paediatric Optometry in 2019. 

Richard Everitt has been NHS England & Improvement’s (NHSE/I) programme lead for the Special School Eye Care Service for the past 2.5 years and has worked alongside a passionate stakeholder group to bring the programme to the point of implementation.

Rupesh Bagdai is an optometrist and Local Eye Health Network Chair and Optometric Advisor for NHS England & Improvement. Rupesh has a specialist interest in supporting patients from ‘hard to reach’ groups and ‘vulnerable’ groups.  He has been involved in the development of the Special Schools pathway and is progressing mobilisation of the service across Cheshire & Merseyside and Lancashire & South Cumbria. 


Presentation: Lisa Donaldson, Optometrist for SeeAbility

SeeAbility have over 7 years of experience delivering eye care services in special schools, during which time they have provided over 3,500 sight tests and dispensed over 1,000 pairs of spectacles. Most of what we know about the eye health history of children with a learning disability and autism has been informed by the research they have undertaken, and Lisa has been instrumental in providing those services. Lisa will share her considerable experience and provide an introduction to working successfully with children with learning disabilities in their special school setting

Richard Everitt, Programme Lead for NHSE/I Special School Eye Care Service

Richard will discuss NHSE/I’s commitment to the provision of eye care services in special schools and introduce a short film about the NHSE/I Special School Eye Care Service where teachers, parents and clinicians demonstrate why this service is important and the difference it makes. 

Rupesh Bagdai, Optometrist and Local Eye Health Network Chair and Optometric Advisor for NHSE/I

Rupesh will discuss the commissioning of services locally in the coming months and explain how you can get involved.

Q&A Session with Lisa Donaldson, Rupesh Bagdai and Richard Everitt

Close – Next Steps

How to register for the event

·         The event is free but places are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.  As a result, registration may not be available up to the event date so please book early.

·         Registration is through Eventbrite here.

·         The event is virtual via the Zoom platform.

  • Please feel free to share this event with colleagues.