Jo Swinson MP is backing a campaign by sight loss charity RNIB to ensure that everyone diagnosed with sight loss gets emotional support to come to terms with their condition.
A new survey, commissioned by RNIB, reveals that 44% of UK adults said they feared losing their sight more than any other long-term health condition.
Jo attended the launch in Parliament of the RNIB’s new report ‘Being There When it Matters’, which is calling for every eye department in the UK to have access to a qualified sight loss adviser so that people are properly supported as they adapt to life with reduced or no vision.
Locally, sight advisor services are available at Gartnavel, Southern General, Stobhill and Victoria Infirmary hospitals - but that’s 25% of all the providers in Scotland. Across the UK the picture is also bleak; only 30% of eye departments in the UK have access to a qualified sight loss adviser.
"I think that it is vital that blind and partially sighted people receive quality and timely support to help them to adapt to their sight loss.
"Sight loss can have a profound impact upon a person’s life. Without the right support people can become unnecessarily isolated and can struggle to adapt. I support RNIB's campaign for every eye department to have access to sight loss adviser.”
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."