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Opticians to get Clearer View of sight loss

Thomas Pocklington Trust are supporting entrepreneur Daniel Williams, Founder of Visualise Training and Consultancy and dispensing optician Peter Black, to drive forward the message that no patient should be diagnosed with an eye condition and left to fend for themselves.  This innovative and insightful course leaves optometrists and dispensing opticians empowered with knowledge to deliver the highest quality service to their VIPs (visually impaired patients).

Thomas Pocklington Trust is a charity committed to increasing awareness and understanding of the needs of people with sight loss and to developing and implementing services which meet their needs and improve lives.  Moving forward, the charity will strive to champion needs, provide change leadership, seek out gaps in service provision and with the cooperation of like-minded partner organisations, prioritise actions aimed at addressing identified deficiencies.

Peter Corbett, CEO of Thomas Pocklington Trust said “In short, we exist for people with sight loss, and we are really excited to support this accredited programme of Continuing Education and Training (CET) for eye care professionals”. He added “we hear all too often people who suffer irreversible sight loss later in life are told that ‘nothing more can be done’.” He went on, “this may true of medical intervention, however all patients can benefit from sight loss rehabilitation and eye clinic liaison services and many from a low vision assessment. Our aim is to bring together the charity and health service organisations involved in rehabilitation with community optical practitioners to improve collaboration and cross referral for the benefit of patients to help them lead more independent lives.”

Daniel Williams, Founder of Visualise Training and Consultancy is an entrepreneur striving to make the world more inclusive for those who have a visual impairment. Daniel has worked within the disability sector for over five years, providing employee retention, awareness training, mentoring, campaigning, fundraising and advocacy services.

Daniel wants to facilitate the social change that will enable services to be more inclusive to those with disabilities.  Daniel said “we are delighted to be embraced into the Pocklington family”


Peter Black, past president of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, said “I know from family members and friends that low vision and VI services have become a postcode lottery across the UK with patients often slipping through the net and suffering mental health issues and a loss of independence as a result”. He went on “Opticians are a vital piece of the jigsaw and in just 2 hours ‘Seeing beyond the eyes’ provides registered opticians with enough insight into visual impairment to begin to make a real difference to the majority of the 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK.”

Peter added “the sessions deliver 6 interactive CET points empowering opticians to support and communicate effectively with VI patients and help them access the range of services and professionals within the sight loss sector via the correct referral pathways.” Peter added “so far the feedback has been brilliant and we have already seen increased referrals to blind associations and other organisations ensuring patients receive the correct information and support immediately.”

Roselin Birhah BSc (Hons) MSc MCOptom, Dudley LOC CET Officer said “Dan Williams’ talk was a passionate and insightful representation of the various difficulties encountered by an individual with visual impairment (VI).  I found the talk and video very practical and useful and I felt I gained a much deeper knowledge of how frustrating VI is for the individual concerned and realised how little society, even Optometry, does to make adequate provision for their sensory needs”

She went on “The aspect I enjoyed most about Dan’s talk was that he didn’t try and evoke pity or demonstrate anger and frustration, he simply offered and suggested practical guidance which left me keen to go out and do things better.  I am grateful for his honesty and professionalism.  He was a charming and effective speaker and I look forward to hearing him speak again in the future”.

Daniel said “so far we have delivered this course to hundreds of optical professionals, only around 10% of delegates were aware of the role of Rehabilitation and Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, indicating the importance of this course and educating everyone to know who exactly to refer too, and all professionals working together.  More recently I was contacted by an ECLO Manager who informed me that the day after delivery of the course in Yorkshire, the Chair of the Local Optical Committee was in touch with her team to start building upon their relationship to improve the eye-care pathway”.

“We hope to replicate this 60 to 70 locations across the UK and are grateful for the financial support of Thomas Pocklington Trust without whose help it would not be possible.” The programme will officially launch at Optrafair at the NEC 14th to 16th April and will be repeated throughout the three days free of charge to delegates on a first come first served basis.


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