Health and Social Care
Evidence 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. (Source: My Voice 2015)
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.
Sight Loss Councils across the country have held vision awareness training with medical professionals, to give them the tools to better support blind and partially sighted patients.
- The Bristol Sight Loss Council have also been working with Southmead hospital. We have worked on:
- Accessible communications for patients with a visual impairment
- The introduction of Move Makers, staff to assist visually impaired patients get around the hospital
- Providing accessibility feedback on the hospital’s electronic check-in systems.
Do you have issues with the accessibility of Health & Social Care services? Let us know.