The eye care support pathway

Cross-sector pathway produced by the RNIB has been designed to provide emotional and practical support to people with eye care needs and sight loss

Optometrist examining patient's eyes

Optometrists are often the first people to identify when a patient needs treatment for an eye condition and in most cases it will be an optometrist who will refer the patient to hospital. As part of this, they will explain to the patient about the symptoms they have found and will also provide information about what the patient can expect to happen next, and how long it may take.

We recognise that this can be a worrying time for patients, what with uncertainty over waiting times and what the treatment will entail, alongside anxiety about what the eye problem could mean for a person's sight, and their independence.

Recognising this, the RNIB has carried out research more than 500 people with lived experience and more than 30 bodies who represent professionals and patients across the sector, to identify the information and emotional support people need at each stage in their eyecare journey, and produced a pathway report.

The following organisations have endorsed the Eye Care Support Pathway:

  • Association of British Dispensing Opticians
  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
  • BAME Vision
  • British and Irish Orthoptic Society
  • Blind Veterans UK
  • Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning
  • College of Optometrists
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Esme’s Umbrella
  • Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians
  • Fight for Sight/Vision Foundation
  • Glaucoma UK
  • Guide Dogs
  • Kinneir Dufort
  • Local Optical Committee Support Unit
  • Macular Society
  • NHS England
  • Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network
  • Retina UK
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • RCN Ophthalmic Nursing Forum
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • SeeAbility
  • Thomas Pocklington Trust
  • UK Ophthalmology Alliance
  • Visionary