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NHS call for public discussion on eye health services

NHS call for public discussion on eye health services


As part of the NHS England’s call to action campaign, patients, healthcare professionals and the public are invited to join the discussion on improving provision of eye health services. 

The debate, which lasts until 12th September 2014, is designed to help review the current system and to implement a long-term sustainable plan to dealing with the increasing need for better eye health services.

The cost of partial sight and blindness to the UK economy is around 22 billion per year according to estimates and therefore the campaign will concentrate on more pre-emptive approaches, early detection by primary care services and effective management in the community.

UK Vision Strategy programme director and VISION 2020 UK chief operations officer, Anita Lightstone encouraged all professionals and members of the public to engage in the call to action plan.

She said: “We are delighted to welcome the consultation ‘Improving Eye Care - A Call to Action’ and congratulate NHS England on providing this much needed spotlight on eye care.  We encourage all stakeholders involved in receiving or delivering eye care to have their say so we can work together to ensure the needs of eye care patients and people with sight loss can be met now and in the future.”

Long-term conditions such as dementia and diabetes can significantly affect eye health.

With predictions suggesting that the elderly population and the number of people with multiple long-standing conditions are the rise, the importance of planning ahead for eye care services is important more so than ever.

People of particular groups may experience problems in accessing these services, these include:

- Patients with mental issues

- Elderly

- Patients with physical disabilities

- Patients with mental disabilities

- Homeless individuals

NHS England’s Deputy Medical Director, Dr Mike Berwick said: “Preventing eye disease and promoting early detection of eye disease through improved access and uptake for routine eye tests are key components of this call to action. Ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate care at the most appropriate time and in the most appropriate location is also vital.”

The plan for eye health services is part of a wider campaign; the NHS belongs to us all: call to action which began in July 2013 and outlined the challenges faced by the NHS such as the complex needs of an ageing population during financial constraints.


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