Emma backs RNIB campaign for sight loss advisers

December 1, 2014

141126 RNIB Launch smallCampaigners from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) met with Emma in Parliament last week to share the organisation’s new report Being There When It Matters, which calls for blind and partially sighted people across the UK to have access to sight loss advisors.

Emma met with Peter Bennetts(right), an RNIB campaigner from South Shields, as well as officers from the RNIB.

Currently fewer than one in three eye departments employ a sight loss advisor, meaning people who lose their vision in many parts of Britain do not get the help they need in adapting to life with reduced sight.

Sight loss has one of the most dramatic impacts of any long term health condition. As the RNIB’s report shows, over half of adults agree losing their sight would have the biggest impact on their lives. Sight loss advisors can help people adapt in the workplace and at home so that they can remain independent and continue to live as similar a life as possible.

Advisers can also make significant savings for health and care services. It is estimated that every £1 invested in sight loss advice saves £10.57 that would otherwise have been spent on care services or treatment.

Emma said:

“Sight loss transforms the way people live, and it is hard to imagine just how dramatic that change can be. People with visual impairments can live independently, but it’s important that they can get access to the right support in a timely manner, and that’s why I am pleased to endorse the RNIB’s report.”

RNIB’s CEO, Lesley-Anne Alexander CBE said:

“Every single day 100 people in the UK begin to lose their sight, but even so, many of us can only imagine how devastating it must be to find out it’s happening to us. It is a profound injustice that the majority of people in this situation are not given any specialised support to help them through this extremely traumatic time.

“In less than 40 years, the number of people with sight loss is going to be double what it is now. We are determined to make the government realise that properly qualified sight loss advisers are not only absolutely crucial for patients, but that they make economic sense too.”

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