CCEHC launches impact survey on low vision assessment services

Responses to the survey will help to illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on low vision assessment services in England, as well as informing service improvement

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Pixabay/Andreas Breitling

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) has launched a survey with the aim of understanding the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on low vision assessment services in England.

The survey is open to primary and secondary care providers in England offering low vision assessments.

Information gained through the survey will also be used to inform how the low vision assessment services could be improved.

Launching the survey, the CCEHC’s Low Vision Working Group highlighted that, since the first lockdown, low vision assessment clinics have been cancelled, with urgent cases seen through remote consultations. A “significant” fall in certifications of visual impairment has also been identified.

The CCEHC recognised that service provision has been challenging during the pandemic, with patients and practitioners shielding, or staff re-deployed, as well as the need to keep clinic numbers low in order to maintain social distancing.

However, the CCEHC suggested that services were not consistent across the country before the pandemic, with long delays for some, and areas without service.

In light of the increased use of remote consultations, the council said it is important to understand the impact of these changes on patient care, and ensure consistency and equity of access. The survey results will also inform how services could be improved.

Sharing the survey, the council emphasised the importance of low vision assessments and the need to ensure all patient needs are identified, and that appropriate actions and support are arranged.

The survey can be taken up until Friday 30 April 2021 and is open to primary and secondary care providers offering low vision assessments (NHS or private) in England.

The information requested should be readily available and the CCEHC confirmed it will be held securely.