Orthoptics and optometry are branches of ophthalmology.

The two teams work closely together and also with the ophthalmology (eye) team.

What orthoptists do

Orthoptists investigate, diagnose and treat vision problems and eye movement disorders such as:

  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Squint
  • Defective binocular vision
  • Double vision (diplopia)

The majority of our work is with children under eight, as this is when the visual system is developing and will respond more readily to treatment.

After this age adults can develop ocular motility problems.

This can be longstanding but only becoming troublesome at a later date.

Ocular motility problems can also be associated with diseases such as:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Auto immune processes
  • When an injury occurs

We have a dedicated stroke clinic when we can also assess visual fields, including an Esterman (driving standards) visual field.

We provide a Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) clinic where we look for eye signs that may be associated with reading difficulties in conditions such as Dyslexia.

This can include the use of colour, tracking and visual perception.

The patient must be at least 7.5 years of age to be able to undertake these tests.

The Orthoptic service is provided by a team of fully-qualified and state registered Orthoptists based at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, who also provide outpatient services to Savernake and Fairford Hospitals.

We also work closely with the School Nursing Team to provide a vision screening service to all reception-age children in the Swindon area.

We work in conjunction with the Eye Service and provide joint ocular motility clinics with the Consultants who specialise in this area.

The Orthoptists also provide various extended roles within the Eye Clinic for investigations such as biometry, fluorescein angiography, photography and teaching.

What optometrists (opticians) do

They assess, examine and prescribe:

  • Glasses for adults and children as part of the hospital eye service
  • Contact lenses for Ophthalmology (eye) patients
  • Low vision aids for Ophthalmology (eye) patients

Optometrists (opticians) provide glasses tests, low-vision assessment and contact lens fitting.

They also work with the consultants to provide Age Related Macula Degeneration (ARMD) Clinics, and Glaucoma clinics.

Some sessions take place in an outside clinic in Eldene, Swindon.


Great Western Hospital - first floor (next to the Eye Clinic) (please see Floor plan).

We have a child-friendly waiting area, nearby baby changing facilities and you are seen in separate clinic rooms to ensure privacy.


Monday-Friday, 8.00am-5.00pm (last appointment at 4.20pm).


Appointment and booking queries

Tel: 01793 604080

Patient and carer enquiries for Orthoptic and Optical Services

Including contact lens and low vision (during normal office hours):

Tel: 01793 604702
Fax: 01793 604845

An answerphone is available out of hours; please leave a message and we will call you back.