Service information:

Who we are

Orthoptists are Allied Health Professionals who specialise in the assessment and treatment of visual development, binocular vision and eye movement disorders.

Some Orthoptists have extended roles in the following clinics:

  • Glaucoma
  • Assisting the Consultant Ophthalmologist in Paediatric Motility ( Specialist children’s clinic )


We work as part of an eye team, which includes:

  • Ophthalmologists – medical/surgical doctors that specialise in eye and vision care
  • Optometrists – prescribe glasses and contact lenses. They also detect vision and health problems
  • Orthoptic Technicians – assist the Orthoptists by performing certain clinical tests, instil eye drops, administrative tasks and school vision screening

Meet the team

Consultants : Siobhan Rattigan, Kate Barnes

Orthoptists  : Julia Devine Lead Orthoptist, Amy Lang, Laura Darley, Jenny Williams, Geraint Hughes, Sarah Capstick, Clare Crilly, Dion Potter,

Orthoptic Technicians : Kate Vickery, Lianne CoupÃ, Ann Hicks, Fiona Vellam

Optometrist: Sue Bryan

Orthoptic secretaries: Sue Jewell

Our patients

Our patients range from babies to the elderly.


Much of our work involves diagnosing and treating squints (eyes misaligned) and amblyopia (reduced visual development) in children.

Children’s clinics are held at Musgrove Park Hospital and all of the above community hospitals


Adults are primarily seen at Musgrove Park Hospital.

Problems can include diplopia (double vision), blurred vision, abnormal eye movements, difficulty with normal visual tasks or a noticeable squint.

Many conditions may cause Orthoptic problems including: Parkinson’s, diabetes, stroke, traumatic brain injury, dementia, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, brain tumour, myasthenia gravis and blow out fractures (trauma around the eye)

We have a number of joint clinics with the Ophthalmologists including:

  • Thyroid
  • Neuro- Ophthalmology
  • Paediatric Neuro Developmental ( Children with complex additional needs )
  • Acute Referral clinic ( Eye Casualty)

Premature Babies

Babies born prematurely (8 weeks or earlier) or weigh less than 1500 grams at birth, are screened at 9 months post-delivery. Premature babies are at a higher risk of having eye problems.

School Screening Service

We provide a vision screening assessment for all reception class children in Somerset. We operate an opt out system, whereby parents/guardians return a tear off slip to the school, if they do not wish for their child to be tested. For further enquiries please contact Laura Darley telephone no. (01823) 344679: email laura.darley@tst.nhs.uk

Orthoptic Students

Our department regularly has undergraduate Orthoptic students from either Sheffield or Liverpool University, on a 1-4 week placement. The students gain invaluable practical experience.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing

Orthoptists help to promote health and wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce health problems. Poor health can have a detrimental effect on the eyes.

 How to access our services  

Patients need to be referred by a health professional eg GP , Optometrist,  Health Visitor, Hospital Doctor via the online referral system. Stroke patients are often referred by an Occupational Health Therapist or Physiotherapist