Orthoptic and Optometry Department

The Orthoptic and Optometry Department at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust cares for people with a range of vision defects. Orthoptists are eye care specialists in binocular vision and ocular motility defects. Optometrists (opticians) specialise in providing advice on the best visual correction.

Orthoptists and optometrists

Orthoptists assess, diagnose and treat patients of all ages, including babies and young children with squint and elderly patients with double vision.

Orthoptists specialist in:

  • Assessing babies and children for vision defects;
  • Treating adults with double vision associated with conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and acquired brain injuries;
  • Providing measurements for squint surgery;
  • Specialist vision assessment following stroke;
  • Assessment of children with specific learning difficulties;
  • Assessment of children with special educational needs.

Our orthoptists are also involved in the intravitreal treatment of age-related macular degeneration.

Optometrists are primary healthcare specialists trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health. They specialist in providing advice on the best visual correction (refraction), contact lens fitting/aftercare, and low visual aids. They also participate in glaucoma clinics.

Our orthoptists and optometrists work closely with ophthalmologists and eye care providers.


We provide services from three main sites, Harrogate District Hospital, Ripon Community Hospital and Mowbray Square Medical Centre in Harrogate.


There are many routes into our service. We accept referrals from GPs, community optometrists, health visitors, hospital doctors and ophthalmologists. We also accept direct referral from the Stroke Team.

Useful links

The British and Irish Orthoptic Society is the professional body for orthoptists in Britain and Ireland.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People offers practical and emotional support for those affected by sight loss.

The Nystagmus Network is the leading patient information, support and scientific research charity for nystagmus in Europe.

Stroke Association provides help and support for those who have suffered a stroke.

Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust provides information, care and support to those affected by thyroid eye disease.

Patient Leaflets