Posts

Eye care pathways in Northumberland

Eye care pathways Northumberland

Eye care pathways in Northumberland – do they really work and how could they be improved?

In Northumberland, as across England as a whole, growing numbers of people are living with sight loss or impairment. This is likely to increase further as people live longer since a good deal of vision impairment is related to the ageing process. The estimated number of people living with sight loss in Northumberland is 13,500 (4% of the county’s population) which is higher than the national average and this is estimated to rise to 5% of the county’s population by 2032.

Consequently, vision rehabilitation services are considered key to prevention, supporting independence, and reducing demand for health and social care services.

The total estimated indirect cost of sight loss in Northumberland is over £32million. In 2020-2021 people in Northumberland living with sight loss and a wider audience told Vision Northumberland that some people in the county experience unfair barriers to accessing registration and low vision/rehabilitation services, that the eye care pathway in Northumberland was flawed, and that people did not know what services were available to them.

People stressed the importance of:

  • Support close to home rather than travelling to Newcastle
  • Support that focuses on the health and wellbeing impacts of sight loss such as depression, social isolation and loneliness
  • Good support from officers such as Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, low vision specialists and rehabilitation officers
  • Joined up working and effective signposting between services
  • Developing the necessary skills to live with sight loss and maintain independence
  • Access to comprehensive assessments that balance different aspects of a person’s life
  • Health and social care professionals who are compassionate, understand the challenges of sight loss, and have knowledge of visual rehabilitation services and support
  • Accessible information and advice especially in GP services

This report, funded by Healthwatch Northumberland, follows up on that work asking the key questions:

What challenges do people with sight loss in Northumberland experience when accessing registration and low vision/rehabilitation services as outlined in the Care Act 2014?
Does the eye care pathway really work in Northumberland and how could it be improved?

Eye care pathways in Northumberland report

Events

National Eye Health Event

National Eye Health Week takes place between 23 and 29 September to promote the importance of good eye health and make people aware of the network of support services available locally.

Northumberland County Blind Association is holding an information event in Morpeth where you can get free information and advice from the following sight loss organisations:

 

  • Northumberland County Blind Association
  • BID Services
  • RNIB
  • Eye Clinic Professionals 

 

The Northumberland County Blind team will be available for one to one demonstrations of a range of vision aids, some of which are available free or for a small donation.

 

 

 

 

Glaucoma Support Session Hexham

As part of national Eye Health Week, the International Glaucoma Association is holding information events in Alnwick and Hexham this September. If you or someone you know is living with glaucoma, come along to get some support and information. Refreshments will be provided.

If you would like more details or to book a place please contact Hannah Morrow on: 07854 821911 or email h.morrow@iga.org.uk.

Glaucoma Support Session Alnwick

As part of national Eye Health Week, the International Glaucoma Association is holding information events in Alnwick and Hexham this September. If you or someone you know is living with glaucoma, come along to get some support and information. Refreshments will be provided.

If you would like more details or to book a place please contact Hannah Morrow on: 07854 821911 or email h.morrow@iga.org.uk.

Man with electronic tablet

Northumberland County Blind Association Information Day

Come along to this Information and Equipment Event from Northumberland County Blind Association and try the latest equipment from some of the leading suppliers of low vision aids and solutions for blind and partially sighted people.

  • Associated Optical
  • Enhanced Vision
  • HumanWare
  • Optelec
  • Orcam
  • Pamtrad

Free information and advice will be available from the following sight loss organisations:

Northumberland County Blind Association, British Wireless for the Blind, Macular Society, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Blind Veterans UK.

For more details contact Northumberland County Blind Association:  info@ncba.org.uk or call: 01670514316.

Northumberland County Blind Association – Spring Fair

The Northumberland County Blind Association Spring Fayre and Afternoon Tea Dance takes place at Morpeth Town Hall this month. The event, which will raise funds for the association, will include a tombola, raffle, face painting, plus cakes, plants and book stall. There will be tea and coffee on offer too.

The tea dance, which starts at 1.00pm, is a ticketed event – tickets cost £3.00 which includes afternoon tea, and can be purchased from Reiver House.