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Wales Council of the Blind is the umbrella agency representing vision impairment within Wales. We work to campaign, lobby and support the improvement of services for people with sight loss. [Read more...]
Eye Care Support Pathway launched at Wales Eye Care Conference
RNIB's 'Eye Care Support Pathway' has been launched in Wales at the Wales Eyecare Conference. The UK-wide pathway aims to ensure that patients have timely access to information, advice and support throughout their eye care journey.
The Pathway, which was produced with contributions from across the sight loss sector, highlights people’s needs at four stages:
- Having an initial appointment
- Having a diagnosis confirmed
- Support after a diagnosis
- Living well with a condition.
'Working Sense' employment project
Working Sense is a project that will enhance the employability of people over 25 with sensory loss or disability and who are economically inactive, by providing specialist support to enable them to enter and remain in employment, or move closer towards employment using a holistic one to one approach utilising designated project staff.
The project is running in Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire, and is run by Centre of Sign Sight Sound. Employment advisors and Well-Being officers will support the individuals with a range of interventions tailored to the needs and circumstances of the individual such as confidence building, vocational skills, practical help such as transport training as well as specific outcomes for those exiting programme which could be:
- Supporting them into employment
- Completing work experience placement or volunteering opportunities.
- Gaining qualification or work relevant certification.
- Engaging in Job Searches.
The Royal Society for Blind Children are seeking a Welsh member to join their youth forum
The Royal Society for Blind Children is seeking a Welsh member to join their youth forum.
The RSBC Youth Forum is a group of 16 – 25 blind and partially sighted young people who are committed to bringing about positive change for blind or partially sighted young people. Giving a voice to young people and involving them across all areas of the charity they help to influence RSBC’s work.
To find out more, visit https://www.rsbc.org.uk/for-young-people/youth-forum/. Applications close on Friday 1st December.
Optometrists to issue CVIs for the first time.
For the first time in the UK, people with vision impairment will access certification of vision impairment in primary care optometry. Optometrists with relevant qualifications working in Wales can now complete certificates of vision impairment for people with bilateral dry age-related macular degeneration.
Rebecca Bartlett, National Clinical Lead for Wales General Ophthalmic Services said, "We are thrilled that this NHS Wales service is now live. We expect an immediate increase in the number of people accessing certification and the important related support registration brings. We also expect to see a reduction in referrals to hospital eye services which will free up vital appointment slots for other people whose eye conditions need to be seen in this setting.
"The certification of vision impairment in primary care is backed by research performed by Cardiff University and funded by Sight Cymru (Agreement between ophthalmologists and optometrists in the certification of vision impairment | Eye (nature.com)). This showed comparable agreement between consultant ophthalmologists and LVSW optometrists in the identification of certification eligibility criteria for people with vision impairment and provided evidence to support policy change.
"The introduction of certification of vision impairment in primary care has been driven by the Welsh Government’s optometry contract reform programme that will see the range of NHS-funded eye care services provided by optometrists and dispensing opticians in Wales increased, with each member of the practice team collaborating to work at the top of their respective clinical licence."
Owen Williams, Director of Wales Council of the Blind said, "We are delighted that Certificates of Vision Impairment can now be issued on the high street for patients with bi-lateral dry AMD. The certificate is a crucial document that opens the door to additional support, welfare benefits, financial concessions and services in social care, the third sector, and elsewhere. By avoiding hospital delays, support of this kind can now be delivered more quickly, helping the patient maintain their independence and avoid the downward spiral into vulnerability, debt, and dependency.
"WCB are keen to see more hospital eye services delivered in primary care optometry practices where it is safe to do so, providing patients with a convenient and timely alternative to hospital-based services."
Optometrists in Wales can find out more about participating in the services at Professionals - NHS Wales. Your nearest LVSW optometrist can be found via Perspectif. Type LVSW in the word search and add a postcode to the postcode field.