More than 2200 people have benefited from a Seeing Beyond Eyes initiative that is helping to build better connections between the sight loss and optical sectors for the benefit of patients since its launch in May last year.
Developed by Visualise Training and Consultancy and funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, the initiative aims to increase awareness of, and referrals to, local and national sight loss organisations, while promoting inclusivity in eye care services for people with, or at risk of sight loss.
Releasing its first impact report, the document details a raised awareness of how and where optical professionals can refer patients for support. However, it also highlights patient feedback that services could be more inclusive and accessible.
The report found an increase in the number of eye care practitioners referring patients with low vision to support services, up from 9% to 96%.
Seeing Beyond the Eyes is facilitated by the founder of Visualise Training and Consultancy, Daniel Williams, who developed the programme in response to his own experiences of being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa.
Mr Williams shared: “We saw countless optometrists, dispensing opticians and ophthalmologists, but at we were not signposted or referred to support services that would have made our journey easier. The good news is that optical professionals and their teams are now able to help people to know they are not alone and there is a positive future with the right knowledge and support.”
Phil Ambler, director of evidence and policy at the Thomas Pocklington Trust, which is supporting the initiative, said: “[The Thomas Pocklington Trust] believes it is important that services are accessible, and that people get the right services at the right time as part of their sight loss journey. Dan Williams and his team has done great work in bringing this message to a wider audience.”
To read the full report, visit the of Visualise Training and Consultancy website.