§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will issue guidance on the proper deployment of orthoptists in the National Health Service, with particular reference to their role in support of community health services.
§ Mr. Ennals
My Department is aware of a number of schemes where orthoptists have been successfully involved in the community health services. Nevertheless, it is for health authorities, in the light of local circumstances, to determine the best way to deploy the services of orthoptists, and it would therefore not be appropriate to issue guidance about their specific role. The draft guidance on "Prevention in the Child Health Services", which was circulated for comment earlier this year, reflects this general principle. My Department is currently considering comments on it from a wide range of organisations, including the British Orthoptic Society.