Children’s Eye Services
The Children’s Eye Services treat children up to the age of 16 years with various eye conditions. A number of health professionals provide care for children with eye problems. This service is also known as paediatric ophthalmology.
Eye doctors who specialise in finding, diagnosing and managing eye conditions. The ophthalmologists in Belfast Trust are:
- Ms E McLoone
- Miss S George
- Mr M O Gallagher
- Ms K Shirley
- Dr R Gamble
Specialists who assess your child’s vision and eye movements and also check for squints.
Specialist opticians who check if your child needs glasses to see better. They also can check if a child with reduced vision would benefit from vision aids.
Children’s Eye Nurses
These nurses help with any tests that may need done. They put in eye drops if the doctor needs to see into the back of your child’s eyes.
Ophthalmic photography team
Photographers who use special cameras to take detailed pictures of your child’s eyes.
Eye care liaison officer
A person who provides practical advice and support to children with poor vision.
Children with sight problems can be routinely referred to:
- the Hospital Eye Service by their GP or community optician
- the Orthoptic Service (for squints, lazy eye) by their GP, community opticians, school nurse or health visitor
- the Optometry Service (Low Vision Clinic or Contact Lens Clinic) by their GP, community opticians, social work staff working in Sensory Support Teams, and teachers for the visually impaired
Children will be sent to the appropriate clinic by a member of Children’s Eye Services.
For urgent eye conditions, your child will be referred by your GP or community optician to one of the following:
- Eye Casualty
- Children’s Hospital Casualty
- Urgent Children’s Eye Outpatient Clinic
Children’s Eye Unit
Royal Victoria Hospital
How to access the Children’s Eye Unit
The Children’s Eye Unit is on level 8a of the Outpatients Department. You can access this department by either the Falls Road entrance or through the main hospital building. The location of the unit is circled on this map.
If you arrive by the Falls Road entrance, you should go straight ahead to the lifts at the back of the lobby. Take a lift to level 8. When you exit the lift, turn right. The Children’s Eye Unit is in corridor 8a.
If you arrive through the main hospital, you should pass the reception desk and shop in the foyer, then take a left and go under the escalator. Continue to walk along the ground floor corridor (level 1) and you will see yellow signs guiding you to the eye clinic. Walk to THE END of the ground floor corridor where you will find two lifts to the Outpatients Department. Take the lift to level 8. When you exit the lift, turn right. The Children’s Eye Unit is in corridor 8a.
Children’s eye clinics are also held in several other locations across Northern Ireland. Please check your letter carefully before attending your appointment.
- Beech Hall Centre, 21 Andersonstown Road, Belfast, BT11 9AF
- Banbridge Polyclinic, 15 Old Hospital Road, Banbridge, BT32 3GN
- Ballymena Wellbeing and Treatment Centre, 86 Cushendall Road, Ballymena, BT43 6HB
- Downe Hospital Outpatients Department, 2 Struell Wells Road, Downpatrick, BT30 6RL
Optometrists and orthoptists also work in community clinics throughout Northern Ireland.
Information on children's eye conditions and treatments
- Resources for parents of blind or partially sighted children
Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) Eye Clinic Liaison Officer Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) education support Education Authority NI visual resources Sensory support Belfast Trust Sensory Support Support services The Amber Trust (Music for blind children)
The Family Fund (Grants for disabled children)
Jessie’s Fund (Music helping children)
MACS (Microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and coloboma support)
Mencap NI (Voice of learning disability)
VICTA (Empowering blind children and young adults)