In Focus: Special schools eye care service ‘sabotaged’ by cuts

The AOP says the government has cut funding by 30% and risks failing the service before it has begun. Andrew McCarthy-McClean reports

Anticipated funding cuts to the Special Schools Eye Care Service risked thousands of children missing out on vital intervention, according to the Association of Optometrists (AOP). The AOP said up to 165,000 children with special educational needs (SEN) should be eligible for the service and it was shown to benefit development and wellbeing.

However, the AOP conservatively estimated the fee per child to be a real terms cut of 30%, from £116 in the proof of concept trial to £81. Adam Sampson, chief executive of the AOP (pictured right), said: ‘Much of the UK’s health service is in crisis but when we have a solution that fixes one very important element – reducing health inequalities for children – we must seize the opportunity.

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