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Family support at the eye unit

We understand that you and your child will often have lots of questions if they are diagnosed with an eye condition. Our eye unit has a dedicated paediatric family support service (PFSS), meaning you can spend extra time with a qualified specialist, in addition to your usual consultant appointments, and have the chance to involve the rest of your family in discussions. We can also help you access further support.

Most families are referred to the PFSS from their consultants, but if you would like to use the service please tell a member of staff on the eye unit so we can arrange an appointment with you.

Most of the patients we see are babies, but our service is also open to older children, who can join in the discussion with their family.

What we can offer

Support is tailored to your individual needs and can include

  • giving you more information about the condition that your child has (their diagnosis) and what it means for your family
  • explaining how your child's condition and treatment may progress over time (their prognosis)
  • putting you in touch with other services such as educational support, social services and voluntary groups
  • a chance to discuss your feelings and get emotional support
  • answering, or help you find answers to, your health-related questions.

Meet the team

Kathryn Thatcher is the PFSS clinician and full-time orthoptist, and has worked at the eye unit since 2002. 

Her work as an orthoptist includes paediatric and adult orthoptic clinics, a special needs clinic at Ashurst Child and Family Centre, low vision clinic at Winchester, and community-based vision screening clinics. Kathryn also has a qualification in counselling.

Get in touch

You can find us in the orthoptic department of the eye unit at Southampton General Hospital, and we can also visit you at home. We're open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.