Dr Helen Griffiths PhD, BSc (Hons), DBO
Senate Award Fellow

Senior Lecturer in OrthopticsDr Helen Griffiths

Academic Unit of Ophthalmology & Orthoptics
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

Office: E104a

Tel: +44 (0) 114 215 9049
Fax: +44 (0) 114 271 3314

Email: h.griffiths@sheffield.ac.uk


I joined the University of Sheffield in 1995 as Lecturer in Orthoptics. Prior to this I worked as an Orthoptist in Bristol Eye Hospital, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Leeds General Infirmary and North Nottinghamshire. Since becoming Lecturer and promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2011, I have worked to develop teaching, curriculum and assessment of the B Med Sci (Orthoptics) and M Med Sci (Vision and Strabismus) Programmes.


Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (sustained excellence), University of Sheffield, 2010

Research Interests

I have developed a research interest which has contributed to curriculum development and teaching within the B Med Sci (Orthoptics) and M Med Sci (Vision & Strabismus) programmes. This began with the investigation of sensory adaptations in strabismus and nystagmus using eye movement recordings.

In my role of Vision Screening Special Interest Group (SIG) Lead for the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, I led a project to map and audit Vision Screening provision for childhood vision defects through the UK and Ireland.  The variability in service provision has been highlighted through this work and I am continuing in the pursuit of equitable, cost-effective and evidence-based vision screening.

I collaborate with Dr Jill Carlton (UoS), Professor Herb Simonz and Dr Frea Sloot (Erasmus MC, Rotterdam) on a project to produce a EU-wide inventory of vision and hearing screening.  The aim of this project is to introduce optomised population-orientated vision and hearing screening programmes in middle-income European Countries.   For further details see http://www.euscreen.net/

In 2015, in collaboration with Anne Bjerre and Gemma Arblaster, I was successfully awarded two grants from Nystagmus Network to develop research and teaching of the clinical assessment and information given to patients with nystagmus.   For further details of the eye movement lab and ongoing current research please see the link in the box on the right.  

I collaborated with researchers in the Department of Psychology.  A project on Visual Function in Autism with Dr Elizabeth Milne, Dr David Buckley and myself received an ERSC grant.

Teaching Interests

I am Programme Leader for the B Med Sci (Orthoptic) Programme. My teaching is in the subject areas of Orthoptics, Clinical Orthoptics and Medical Ethics. I have a particular interest in design and development of teaching resources to enhance the transition from lectures to the clinical environment, teaching delivery initiatives to expedite feedback and methods of assessing practical skills with optimum reliability.

From 2013-2015 I worked as the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Champion for the Curriculum Change Project. This is now well developed as the Achieve More programme with the level one theme being Global Citizenship and aims to give students from the University of Sheffield a broad understanding through exploring, devising and presenting solutions to the global issues of the day. This will enhance students’ academic and personal development by embracing the opportunity to undertake activities that require the application of knowledge and skills in inter-disciplinary contexts and settings.

Professional Activities

  • Honorary Orthoptic Clinical Contract - Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Health and Care Professions Council Registered OR01619
  • Health and Care Professions Council – Partner, (these roles include: Visitor, Registration Assessor (2004-2017) and Investigating Panel Member (2004-2015)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the British & Irish Orthoptic Journal
  • Member of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society
  • British and Irish Orthoptic Society Vision Screening Special Interest Group Joint Lead (2011-2017)
  • British and Irish Orthoptic Society Vision Screening Steering Committee (2017-present)
  • Member of the British Isles Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Association
  • National Screening Committee: Screening for Vision Defects – Provided evidence representing the BIOS for this consultation to support Orthoptic Led Vision Screening for reduced vision in childhood (see http://www.screening.nhs.uk/vision-child)
  • Public Health England, Vision Screening Advisory Group - Development of National Guidance for Commissioning of National Screening Committee Recommendations: April 2016 - ongoing

Student Support Roles

  • Careers Liaison Officer
  • Mentor Contact

Current Projects

  • BIOS Vision Screening Mapping and Audit Project (see link to latest audit report in box to right)
  • EUS€REEN Project: Partner working on a proposal to develop equitable cost-effective vision screening in Europe http://www.euscreen.net/
  • HEI Interprofessional Learning Project - Stroke On-line Learning Resource
  • Oscillopsia awareness and symptom relief
  • Recovery of Ocular Motor Nerve Palsies


  • Dr Jill Carlton, ScHARR, University of Sheffield - EUS€REEN Project
  • Professor Huibert Simonsz, Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Rotterdam, Netherlands - EUS€REEN Project
  • Dr Elizabeth Milne, Department of Psychology – Vision in autism

Key Publications

  • Sloot F, Hoeve HL, de Kroon M, Goedegebure A, Carlton J, Griffiths HJ, Simonsz HJ & for the EUS€REEN study group. Inventry of current EU paediatric vision and screening programmes. J Med Screen 2015, 22(2):55-64
  • Bjerre A, Codina C, Griffiths HJ. Peripheral visual fields in children and young adults using semi-automated kinetic perimetry: Feasibility of testing, normative data and repeatability. Neuro-Ophthalmology 2014, 38;4: 189-198
  • Milne E, Scope A, Griffiths H, Codina C, Buckley D. Reduced sensitivity in the peripheral field in adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism 2013, 43:8:1976-1982.
  • Griffiths HJ, Whittle J, Buckley D. The effect of distractors on saccades and adaptation of saccades in strabismus. Vision Research, 2011,51:2405-2424
  • Milne E, Griffiths HJ, Buckley D, Scope A. Vision in children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder:  Evidence for reduced convergence. J Autism Dev Disord. 2009, 39(7):965-75.
  • Griffiths HJ, Whittle J, Buckley D. The effect of binocular and monocular distractors on saccades in participants with normal binocular single vision. Vision Research, 2006, 46:72-81.
  • Griffiths HJ, Burke JP. Temporary incyclotorsion following surgical correction of bilateral superior oblique palsy. J of American Association Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 2007; 11:65-67.
  • Milne E, Griffiths HJ. Visual Perception and Visual Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Literature Review. Br Irish Orthopt. J. 2007, 15-20

For a full list of publications please visit myPublications

PhD Student Supervision:

Noor Wafirah Shafee: Factors Affecting Recovery of Ocular Nerve Palsies. Expected completion February 2020

M Med Sci (Vision & Strabismus) Student Project Supervision

Recently completed

Karon McCarthy, Kings College Hospital NHS Trust, A comparison of crowded visual acuity tests for age 4-5 year old children. Completed December 2016

Rachael Calvey, Manchester Eye Hospital, The effect of Fresnel prisms on visual function in a clinical population. Completed December 2016.

Laura Crawford, Newcastle Royal Infirmary: Reliability and Repeatability of the Sbisa Bar to measure Density of Suppression.  Completed January 2015.

Sarah Morgan, Southampton: The effect of Fresnel Prisms on the Quality of Life.  Completed January 2015.

Lalita Khan, Leeds General Infirmary: Predicting the risk of post-operative diplopia using the post-operative diplopia test - completed 2013

Catherine Houlahan, Wolverhampton Eye Hospital: A retrospective review of the difference in refractive error elicited in atropine and cyclopentolate refractions in children with esotropia - completed 2011

Rima Gokani
, UCLH: Field of BSV scores following surgical and non-surgical management of orbital fractures - completed 2010