Inverness dad's FOI request led to 'lazy eye' screening

Eye Mr Dunion said Stephen Wilson successfully campaigned for eye screening

Related Stories

A father successfully campaigned for screening for an eye condition in children after pursuing freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Stephen Wilson, from Inverness, found out that NHS Highland did not have a screening programme for amblyopia - "lazy eye" - through FOI requests.

The case has been highlighted in a special report by Scotland's Information Commissioner.

Kevin Dunion said it was an example of where the legislation was successful.

In his report to the Scottish Parliament, he said Mr Wilson had lodged FOI requests with NHS Highland following the diagnoses of his daughters with the eye condition.

The commissioner said: "He successfully campaigned for the introduction of local screening."

Mr Wilson told BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie programme he made his requests after being told that his daughters should have received eye tests from an ophthalmologist, rather than a school nurse, once they turned five.

Paper trail

He said: "In 2009, my two daughters - a 10-year-old and a seven-year-old - were identified with 'lazy eye'.

"The eldest had it very severely."

Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion says access to information about public services must be extended

Mr Wilson said the condition was not picked up at school.

His eldest girl's eyesight was deemed to be fine, but an optician later diagnosed "lazy eye".

Mr Wilson, who works in IT, said he used FOI legislation to first get access to a report that recommended that ophthalmologists should test school children's sight.

He said that 190 pages of emails were among the material he later obtained from NHS Highland as he followed a paper trail detailing the health board's response to the national report.

Mr Dunion is leaving his post after eight years in the role.

US tycoon

Other highlights in his report included mortality rates of Scotland's surgeons being disclosed.

Also, details of the PFI contract for the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and information about US tycoon Donald Trump's planning application for an Aberdeenshire golf course.

However, Mr Dunion said more should be done.

He said many services offered by the Scottish government and local authorities were not subject to FOI.

These included companies building and maintaining trunk roads, private prisons and local schools, he said.

Mr Dunion said ministers should extend the law.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Highlands & Islands



4 °C 0 °C


  • A very clever little girlBrain gain

    Why are people getting better at intelligence tests?

  • BeefaloBeefalo hunt

    The hybrid animal causing havoc in the Grand Canyon

  • A British Rail signBringing back BR

    Would it be realistic to renationalise the railways?

  • Banksy image of girl letting go of heart-shaped balloonFrom the heart

    Fergal Keane on the relationship between love and politics

  • Don Roberto Placa Quiet Don

    The world's worst interview - with one of the loneliest men on Earth

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.