Health minister and health professionals network to learn from sight loss simulator – the Eye Pod

Health Minister Lord Howe and delegates at NHS England’s Local Professional Networks (LPN) Assembly will be invited to visit the Royal National Institute for the Blind’s sight loss simulator, the Eye Pod.

The Eye Pod has giant eyes connected to viewers that visitors look through to experience conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts.

LPN members, including those responsible for commissioning optometry services, will be able to visit the Eye Pod to learn at first-hand about the problems faced by people with visual disabilities and conditions.

The Local Professional Network Assembly meets in London on 17th September to give clinicians working in eye health, dental and pharmaceutical services the opportunity to network, make new contacts, share experiences and take part in discussions with Earl Howe and key note speakers.

Dr David Geddes from NHS England said: “LPNs are a vital link in ensuring that clinicians are actively involved in decision making and service improvements. This assembly is a great opportunity for clinicians to meet up and discuss how we can address health inequalities and to ensure that we provide a high quality service to all patients.”

Lord Howe, Health Minister said: “It is important for the clinicians who are helping to shape our healthcare service to meet up, share best practice and pool their expertise. Innovations like the Eye Pod help medical staff to have an understanding of the problems faced by the people they care for. Sight is a very precious thing and it is vital we have the right services in place to reduce avoidable visual impairment.”

Case study – an LPN in action

Baby Teeth Do Matter – Great Manchester LPN

A campaign to encourage parents to take their very young children for dental check-ups has been supported by hundreds of dentists across the Greater Manchester area who teamed up with other healthcare professionals to tackle high dental decay levels in the area.

By working collaboratively through the LPN, the group was able to achieve far more than by working separately. As a result, 4,000 young children and their families have been given the opportunity to have a future free of decay.


Local professional networks are being developed by NHS England to advise on the commissioning of specific services – dental, pharmacy and optometry. They will help deliver effective service planning and make it possible to translate strategy into implementation. The LPN Assembly will meet twice a year.