For Patients and Visitors

What is the Orthoptics Service?

Orthoptists are university trained, allied health care professionals who work with the Eye specialist at Northern Health. They are involved in the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical management of vision disorders in both adults and children and help to relieve visual symptoms and enhance visual performance.

What can I expect from the service?

  • You will be seen by the Orthoptist, followed by the Eye specialist on the same day.
  • Diagnostic testing with special equipment will be used to screen and assess your visual health.
  • Test will include vision, pupil examination, eye pressure measurements and looking at the back of the eye.
  • Standard consultations will generally require drops to be placed in your eyes for thorough examination.
  • An interpreter can be provided if required.
  • Allow up to 2 hours for you clinic visit as you will be seeing two specialists and having your eye tests done on the same day.

What do I bring/need for my appointment?

  • Your distance glasses (prescription if available)
  • Medication or list (especially eye drops)
  • Previous eye history that you may have from an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist

Please bring a responsible adult with you as you may need to have eye drops administered which will temporarily blur your vision. It is not recommended for you to drive after having eye drops administered.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for the Orthoptic service

Contact us:

Allied Health Enquiries: alliedhealthenquiries@nh.org.au
Direct Line- BH Administration Desk: 03 8345 5378

For Health Professionals

Service Overview

An Orthoptist is an Allied Health professional, who works collaboratively with the Ophthalmologists at Northern Health. They are university trained practitioners and play a major role in the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical management of vision disorders in both adults and children. They specialise in ocular motility/eye movement and are involved in the care of patients with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration and neurological disorders of the visual system.

The main roles and responsibilities of the Orthoptist are:

  • To perform vision tests to determine the best corrected visual acuity for the patient.
  • Examination of pupils to identify any anomalies.
  • Measurement of intraocular pressure.
  • Cataract assessment.
  • Ocular motility assessmen.t
  • Detailed diagnostic testing to determine the visual health and function through visual field and optical coherence tomography.
  • Biometry to calculate the intraocular lens required for cataract surgery.
  • Pre-operative and post-operative care of surgical patients who have undergone cataract extraction or pterygium / lesion excision.
  • Education of patient and family/carers of their eye condition to improve compliance and understanding.
  • To help relieve any visual symptoms and enhance visual performance.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Limited Medical retina (those patients who do not require injections or laser treatment)
  • Retinal Ophthalmology
  • Corneal Ophthalmology
  • Ocular motility disorders
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • General Ophthalmology including anterior and posterior segment disorders
  • Glaucoma management

Exclusion criteria:

  • Ocular oncology
  • Low vision and rehabilitation services
  • Refractive/corrective Laser
  • Paediatric patients
  • Patients requiring injections or retinal laser treatment
  • Eye conditions which can be managed by local Optometrist or primary eye health care provider

Referrals are assessed on an individual basis and patient’s may be referred to the RVEEH for further treatment options such injections, certain laser or surgical treatment which may not be provided at Broadmeadows Health.

How to Refer:

The Orthoptics team does not accept direct referrals for any patient requiring eye services. Patients requiring management through Northern Health’s Eye Service require a referral via the use of HealthLink SmartForms.

Assistance with E-referral to Northern Health Specialist Clinics:
Specialist Clinics
PH: 8405 8815

Referral must include:

Referral source can be from a GP/Optometrist/ Consultant or an Allied Health Specialist.
Referrals made by health practioners require baseline visual acuity assessment and clear indication of current presenting visual problem.

Alternative service options:

Local Optometrists
Australian College of Optometry

Professional Associations

Orthoptics Association of Australia: www.orthoptics.org.au
Australian Orthoptic Board: www.australianorthopticboard.org.au

Director/Head of Unit:

Associate Director Speech pathology, Audiology and Orthoptics
Kym Patterson 0447 564 053


Allied Health Enquiries: alliedhealthenquiries@nh.org.au
Direct Line- BHS Administration Desk: 03 8345 5378