Vision Awareness at Southport Hospital

This week Merseyside Sight Loss Council (SLC) delivered a vision awareness session at Southport Hospital.

They worked with occupational therapists and physiotherapists to increase awareness on how to support blind and partially sighted (BPS) patients.

During the session, Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for the north west, and SLC member, Mick Spriggs, shared their experiences of some of the challenges BPS people face in a hospital environment.

Staff went on to wear special glasses which simulate various sight conditions. This enabled them to get a better understanding of how the world looks to someone with a visual impairment. Staff also learned different sighted guiding techniques, which they were able to put into practice.

Kelly Barton and Mick Spriggs are presenting to staff members, who are seated and trying on simulation spectacles.

Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for the north west, and Mick Spriggs, SLC member, presenting to Southport staff members.


Feedback from the session

The team were very engaged with Merseyside SLC, with one participant feeding back:

“This session has made me think about the adjustments I can make, both on the wards and in the community, to better support blind and partially sighted patients.”

Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for the North West, said:

“One of our projects this year has been around the challenges and barriers blind and partially sighted people face in a hospital environment. These sessions were really good because we were able to share our lived experience with people who work directly on hospital wards.”

Mick Spriggs, Merseyside SLC member, added:

“Everyone who attended the sessions were engaged and I really felt as though they took something away from it. They had lots of questions – and of course they all enjoyed meeting my guide dog Kip.”


Image shows a male and female member of staff, taking part in the sighted guide training. The man is guiding the lady by the elbow. They are outside.

Two members of staff taking part in the sighted guide training as part of the session

Other feedback included:

“I now feel far more confident in engaging with visually impaired patients.”


“I really enjoyed the session; the pace was just right, and Kelly explained things really well.”


“It’s not until you wear the simulation glasses that you realise how scary it is to negotiate what’s around you.”


Kelly Barton, engagement manager for the north east, and Merseyside SLC member, Mick, standing in front of the Sight Loss Councils banner. Mick's guide dog Kip is sitting next to Mick.

Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for the North West, Mick Spriggs, SLC member, and Mick’s guide dog Kip, standing in front of the SLC banner

Make Health Accessible

Sight Loss Councils across the country have been working to #MakeHealthAccessible for blind and partially sighted people.

Learn more


Guidance for health professionals on implementing the Accessible Information Standard (AIS)

Thomas Pocklington Trust has created a Professionals Hub.  This has tips on how staff can apply and make simple adjustments to implement the AIS in their healthcare setting . We also share how to best support patients with a visual impairment.

Visit the Professionals hub


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Publication date: 14 March 2023

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