Improving eye health and reducing sight loss – A ‘Call to Action’

The NHS belongs to the people – a call to action was launched last July and set out the challenges faced by the NHS; those of an ageing population with complex conditions against a backdrop of financial constraints. Since then, separate ‘call to action’ engagements have been held for general practice, community pharmacy and NHS dental services. The final strand of the campaign will focus on improving eye health and the provision of NHS eye health services

We know that many long term conditions, such as diabetes and dementia, pose a significant risk to eye health. The projected increase in the elderly population and the number of people with multiple long term conditions has a knock on effect on long term planning for eye care. If not tackled properly, poor provision at a primary care level is likely to increase pressures elsewhere in the health and social care system.

It’s estimated that partial sight and blindness in adults costs the UK economy around £22 billion per year. This final ‘Call to Action’ will focus on a more preventative approach, early accurate detection by primary care services and effective management in the community.

To achieve that NHS England wants the public, patients, and professionals to engage with the ‘call to action’ through our survey (accessible version of the survey), and help review the current system to inform and develop a long term sustainable plan.

To support this call to action we have developed a slide pack in conjunction with a number of key eye health organisations including the Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB), the royal college of ophthalmologists, college of optometrists, Local Optical Committee Support Unit, Vision 2020, optical confederation, The UK vision strategy and our local eye health networks.

Have your say!

Patients, professionals and the public are being invited to have their say, in this debate around the provision of eye health services.

At the end of the pack are a set of questions. You can respond via our online questionnaire, email comments, or you could write to us by 12 September 2014. Contact details below.

It is important to have your say by 12 September 2014 and you can give us your views in the following way:

See NHS England’s news release announcing the call to action and a blog from NHS England’s Deputy Medical director, Mike Bewick.