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Specialist Orthoptist

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 a year
Closing date
19 Apr 2024

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Other allied health
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
There are so many reasons to join our team at Sunderland Eye Infirmary. Aside from our fantastic staff, we have lots of exciting things going on. Our plans for our Eye Hospital in Sunderland are taking shape and will be our new home, with work due to start later this year. The new hospital means Sunderland will remain home to the regions only dedicated standalone eye hospital. It will strengthen our excellent reputation across the NHS, both regionally and nationally as a centre of excellence for ophthalmology care.

We endeavour to keep discovering new and better treatments. As one of the few specialist eye hospitals in the country, research and using developing technology is a key part of our work. We encourage innovation and research in everything we do. There is always something to get involved in. If you share our vision for 'excellence in all that we do', wed love you to join us!

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated Orthoptist to join our friendly and experienced team of 8 Orthoptists based at Sunderland Eye Infirmary. As a tertiary referral centre, our service supports paediatric Ophthalmology, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Maxillofacial, Emergency care, adult motility and an acute stroke service. We also participate in student teaching as an accredited Orthoptic student placement site.

Main duties of the job

The successful candidate will work alongside 2 consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologists, 1 specialist Neuro-Ophthalmologist and 9 Optometrists. They will participate in joint Consultant, Optometry and individual Orthoptic clinics. They will also have the opportunity to participate in peripheral clinics, regular journal clubs and teaching of Orthoptic and medical students. They would receive support in their post if this is their first clinical role following qualification.

Consideration will be given to newly qualified Orthoptists who do not meet the criteria for Band 6, but who are appointable at Band 5 working towards Band 6 run through. Appointment in these circumstances will be subject to satisfactory completion of a specified period of training, and achieving specific competencies before moving to Band 6. (A minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months). Mentoring will be provided in this circumstance. Responsibilities will be dependent on experience.

The working hours will be 37.5 hours per week Monday-Friday 08:30-16:30. We encourage all hopeful candidates to contact our Orthoptic Department Manager Rafaela Schelle on 0191 5410093 or for further information regarding this post.

About us

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One Team One Trust - There are many reasons to work at our Trust. From our commitment to putting people first to our accessible services and award winning teams. We have a passion for research, innovation and tackling inequalities. We are committed to respect, fairness and civility and promote a compassionate, caring and positive culture / working environment.

We welcome all applications irrespective of peoples race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion/belief, age, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity and in particular those from under- represented groups. Looking after our workforces health and wellbeing is a priority for STSFT. We also provide access to high quality education, training, career progression and support. Flexible working is supported via the Trust's Flexible Working Policy.

The Trust employs around 8,300 people and provides a range of hospital services to a local community of around 430,000 residents. We also provide a range of more specialised services outside this area, in some cases to a population as great as 860,000. We offer our staff outstanding benefits - Fitness Centre (SRH), libraries at both hospital sites, chaplaincy support and access to a Childcare Co-ordinator to help staff with childcare arrangements.

Job description

Job responsibilities


To provide a comprehensive and quality Orthoptic investigation as an autonomous practitioner for patients referred to the Eye Department. To work independently and within a multi-disciplinary team to provide appropriate assessment, diagnosis and treatment for Orthoptic patients ranging in age and abilities. To carry out secondary screening in the community and peripheral sites

To provide appropriate Orthoptic assessment for all patients referred to the department as inpatients or outpatients using a wide range of highly specialised equipment specific to the investigation.

To assess, diagnose and treat patients with disabilities.

To assess eye movement disorders in patients from specialist Clinics including Neurology, Myasthenia Gravis, Maxillofacial, Endocrinology (including thyroid and diabetes), Medical Eye Unit and Eye Emergency Department.

To provide teaching for Orthoptic students (clinical tutors accreditation required)

To formulate treatment plans for all types of Orthoptic patients

Exercise professional clinical judgement during patient assessment in order to reach a diagnosis in a varied case mix.

Ensure suitable follow up arrangements are in place.

To assess patients suitability for Botulinum toxin and adjustable suture surgery.

To assess patients pre-operatively.

To assess patients post-operatively

To assess and fit appropriate temporary prisms or fit occlusion to patients glasses.

To work independently secondary screening at community health centres.

To ensure that each patient receives the highest standard of care and ensure each patient obtains the best visual acuity, binocular vision, ocular movements and ocular cosmetic appearance.

To assess, diagnose and manage patients presenting in ED.

To accurately assess spectacle prescriptions using estimation techniques, automated and manual focimetry.

Attend appropriate training events, mandatory training, courses and lectures thereby maintaining up-to-date knowledge and skills.

To incorporate research based evidence into Orthoptic practice.

To keep documentary evidence of Continuing Professional Development, including current training courses and reflective practise.

To take an active part in research within the department.

To comply with departmental quality procedures, participating in quality management monitoring. This will include audits for hospital ophthalmology services.

To observe and maintain professional standards at all times.

To observe safe working practices and equipment procedures, ensuring safe maintenance and use of clinical, screening and peripheral equipment, and to report any faults.

Assist and provide internal cover when required.

Respect patient and staff confidentiality at all times.

Maintain and utilise department and Trust information systems currently in use and ensure the accuracy of information held on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR).

Person Specification



  • BSc (Hons) Orthoptics OR Orthoptics BMedSci OR Diploma from British Orthoptic Council (DBO)
  • To be registered with Health and Care Professions Council
  • BIOS member or other professional liability insurance


  • Medical exemptions for orthoptists
  • Clinical tutors qualification



  • Experience in all aspects of clinical Orthoptics
  • Experience in ophthalmological assessment of patients
  • Evidence of continued professional development


  • Evidence of special interest in neuro ophthalmology and strabismus
  • Experience of delivering student supervision and clinical education to Orthoptic undergraduates, pre registration optometrists, trainee GPs and junior doctors

Skills and Knowledge


  • Good planning and organisational skills and be self-directing
  • Ability to deliver presentations
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills at all levels
  • Ability to manage and prioritise clinical work load and respond appropriately and logically
  • Understanding of and ability to maintain patient confidentiality
  • Ability to gain co-operation dependent on the audience, ability and understanding
  • IT Skills


  • Ability to adapt communication to individuals including non-verbal ways eg Makaton

Physical Skills


  • Ability to assist patients to move as per Trust Moving and Handling Policy
  • Expert hand/eye co-ordination to perform accurate assessments with challenging patients

Employer details

Employer name

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust


Sunderland Eye Infirmary

Queen Alexandra Road



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