Alliance member, Thomas Pocklington Trust wish to share details of how they have worked in partnership to develop Local Vision Strategies for all 32 boroughs across London. In the UK the number of people with serious sight loss is estimated at two million. With an increasingly ageing population and 80% of sight loss occurring in people over the age of 60, this figure is expected to double by 2050.
Local Vision Strategies identify gaps in services and plan a course of action to plug those gaps, they are designed around the aims of the UK Vision Strategy which aims to ensure:
- Everyone in the UK looks after their eyes and their sight;
- Everyone with an eye condition receives timely treatment and, if permanent sight loss occurs, early and appropriate services and support are available and accessible to all;
- A society in which people with sight loss can fully participate.
Local Vision Strategies have become vital tools which deliver key insights about the needs of people with sight loss. They can drive commissioning of services in ways which bring better results for people with sight loss and can deliver the views of people with sight loss directly to Public Health Directors and others providing local services, helping them understand and respond to the most pressing issues related to sight loss.
Pocklington worked with, local sight loss organisations, eye health professionals, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to develop local Vision Strategies. They used a specialist team of Vision Strategy Managers to bring these stakeholders together, complete Needs Assessments, agree Action Plans and begin a Delivery phase.
Working groups involved senior members from organisations linking to local priorities such as diabetes, strokes, falls prevention and smoking cessation which have links with sight loss, and they looked at identifying best use of resources and low/no cost solutions to problems.
Pocklington developed an evidence base of information about the challenges and opportunities for people with sight loss as part of their toolkit. It identifies gaps in provision and informs the action planning process. As part of their toolkit, Pocklington developed a free to download ‘Action Plan’ template for local use. Please view this here to see the eight areas which detail actions points for local organisations.
Work is currently moving into the ‘doing’ phase and highlighted initial successes include:
- Development of a ‘Visual Impairment Parliament’ in Kingston, the first of its kind in the country, to give a recognised voice to local residents with sight loss. For more information please contact
Michelle Baxter Wickham, Development Manager, Thomas Pocklington Trust on 0208 996 1943 or at email@example.com;
- Bus driver awareness training to tackle issues around transport for people with sight loss in Hounslow;
- Inclusion of eye health in joint strategic needs assessments, which was previously lacking, across a number of boroughs;
- Increased local level partnership working amongst different organisations within the eye care and sight loss sector.
Pocklington’s Local Vision Strategies Toolkit is free to download here. For further information about this work please contact Phil Ambler, Policy Director, Thomas Pocklington Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org