Icon of red cross denoting health and social care themeEvidence suggests that health and social care services are not meeting the needs of blind and partially sighted people with 40% stating that information received was never in an accessible format and almost a third finding it difficult to access the services they need. Inaccessible health and social care services put the wellbeing of blind and partially sighted people at risk due to:

  • Patients being unable to manage their own healthcare without the support of family and friends
  • Increased risk of safeguarding issues through sharing of confidential information
  • Increased reluctance to address health problems
  • Reduced confidence and independence at daily tasks 

In terms of mental health, blind and partially sighted people also fall below the general population with only one third feeling optimistic about the future often or all the time. They also felt more isolated and less close to others than the general population.

Sight Loss Councils help local blind and partially sighted people feel more integrated into the local networks and the sight loss community as a whole. Since joining Sight Loss Council volunteers have reported increases in their mobility, socialisation, confidence and motivation with some members going on to full time employment or other volunteering opportunities.

 

Success in Health and Social Care

Birmingham Sight Loss Council worked with Birmingham City Council with the aim of improving the Vision Rehabilitation Service offered to people with sight loss. Timely and high-quality rehabilitation services would help people to make the most of their residual sight, enabling them to retain as much independence as possible. When the project began, there was a six-month waiting list of 161 adults for this service. Following meetings with the Adult Social Care Directorate and recent recipients of the service to discuss issues of a delay, we suggested what improvements could be made. The City Council has now hired additional staff and restructured their existing resources. As a result, the waiting list was reduced by two thirds. 

Do you have issues with the accessibility of Health & Social Care services? Let us know.

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