Accessibility | Follow Us
Youtube Icon

The State of the Nation Eye Health 2017: A Year in Review

Photo of patient eye data

In September 2016, the RNIB and Specsavers worked in partnership with the aim of transforming eye health in the UK and preventing sight loss where possible. A year later, in 2017, A Year in Review was published reporting on the scheme and its main achievements.

I can see you

The review highlighted new information regarding the national occurrence of sight loss and general attitudes to UK eye health.

Of all the senses, it was sight loss which was the most feared in the people questioned. Therefore, promoting public awareness of eye health is a positive step. This becomes even more relevant when 250 people a day, across the UK, face sight loss and 1 in 5 will live with sight loss in their lifetime.

Can I have your advice please?

The review also demonstrated the fact that nearly a quarter of the population dismiss early signs of lowered levels of vision, whether close-up or distant. Perhaps more alarming is that it revealed that as many as 23% have not visited an optician or any other appropriate medical professionals, specialising in eye care, to seek guidance.

Yet an optician can do a lot more than just perform tests to see if you need to start wearing specs or change your existing lenses. At a routine eye examination, he or she can detect early signs of cardiovascular disease. As this is the leading cause of death in the UK, it makes sense to get this regularly checked out, particularly if your lifestyle involves little exercise, your diet is high in fat, sugars and carbohydrate and you smoke or are overweight. This also applies to people with sight loss who should be regularly having eye health checks.

Teething problems

Whilst the report demonstrated that eye care appears not to be a top priority for many British people they are, by contrast, likely to visit a dentist every six months. This compares drastically to a significant number of UK adults not having an eye test for two or more years, and possibly not at all.

Action plan 

In the light of these statistics, the RNIB and Specsavers developed a strategy to try and counteract some of these findings.

Raising public awareness about eye care is the first step and this should also aim to dispel the myth that eye care is mainly for the over 50’s or those from a poorer demographic. Bringing the importance of eye care to the attention of everyday people will encourage more people to have regular sight tests. It will also highlight the need to seek advice from an optometrist at an early stage if changes in their sight are detected. Services must also be available to all, conforming to the Equality Act.

The findings of the report show that accurate and up to date data, referring to all aspects of eye health, need to be improved and maintained. This will also help influence relevant eye care commissioning and available services.

Another proposed action arising from the review is for the promotion of qualified and professional leadership in eye health. 

Let’s talk

Following the creation of the RNIB and Specsavers partnership in September 2016, the RNIB conducted five roundtable meetings during 2017 to discuss policy initiative. They also invited a wide spectrum of appropriate specialists such as health professionals and commissioners and which also included patients, to analyse how improvement in delivery in eye care services can help to increase the number of people who consult an optician, either for advice or on a regular check-up basis.

After each of these discussions, the RNIB produced briefings with statistical evidence, together with any informative notes arising from the meetings.

To find out more about the RNIB and Specsavers scheme, visit: https://www.rnib.org.uk/state-nation-2017

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

RSS News RSS

  • Dealing with Sight Loss: Being Blind in Business 10/02/2020
    A disability doesn’t define someone, nor does it equal inability. Whilst it’s important to understand the unique circumstances people may have, often I’ve found it can become all-encompassing to that individual. The post Dealing with Sight Loss: Being Blind in Business appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel
  • Supporting Employees with Visual Impairments 22/01/2020
    This article focuses on employees with visual impairments and how organisations can support them to maximise their potential. The post Supporting Employees with Visual Impairments appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel
  • Are UK Trains Accessible to Passengers with disabilities? 05/12/2019
    If you are a person living with a disability, it’s frustrating that you cannot just turn up at the station, get on a train and travel wherever you want to go to the same as everyone else, due to the fact that you need to book assistance at least 24 hours in advance. How many […]
    Daniel
  • Croydon Vision Talking Newspaper Interview 21/10/2019
    Following Dan's talk at the Croydon Vision AGM about the challenges of growing up with sight loss and how they spurred him on to make a difference to other people living with visual impairments, here's a follow up chat with Danielle, one of the charity's volunteers who helps to produce their talking newspaper The post […]
    Phil Roberts
  • Life Beyond the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) Scan 16/08/2019
    You happily go along to the optometrist, feeling good about life. Then comes the bolt out of the blue when the OCT scan reveals a problem. You need to be referred to an ophthalmologist. The post Life Beyond the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) Scan appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel
  • I’d never have guessed… you really don’t look blind! 16/08/2019
    Lots of people, including those who have been blind since childhood, haven’t the foggiest what being blind is supposed to look like so comments like ‘You don’t look blind’ can be somewhat baffling. The post I’d never have guessed… you really don’t look blind! appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel
  • Fancy a REAL Blind Date? 15/08/2019
    If you’re going to accept an invitation for a date from someone who has appalling sight like me, don’t be fooled. It’s no good thinking you may as well turn up wearing your old gardening clobber and save yourself a bit of time; if your date is blind, what the heck will it matter what […]
    Phil Roberts
  • Supporting Older People with Sight Loss in Residential Care 14/08/2019
    Only 5% of people who are registered blind see nothing at all so learn to recognise the signs of sight loss as it is more common than you may think and can be easily missed. The post Supporting Older People with Sight Loss in Residential Care appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel
  • Look on the Bright Side of Being Registered Blind! 07/08/2019
    To be registered severely sight impaired (blind) you don’t need to have complete sight loss, you just need to meet certain criteria. The post Look on the Bright Side of Being Registered Blind! appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel
  • Coming Out Blind 26/07/2019
    Come out blind. Begin to live again: with freedom, independence and laughing at real humour, not just at yourself The post Coming Out Blind appeared first on Visualise Training and Consultancy.
    Daniel