New Service Reduces Isolation for People With Sight Loss

Scotland’s leading sight loss charity is joining forces with NHS Forth Valley to offer emotional and practical support to people diagnosed with sight loss. The new Vision Support Service, based within Falkirk Community Hospital will provide vital help and encouragement to allow people to come to terms with losing their vision.

Clare Jewell from RNIB Scotland said: “Being told you will lose some or all of your vision can be devastating news. But we can give people the help and reassurance they need to find their lives again.

“Every day in Scotland, ten people begin to lose their sight, but only one in six will be offered support. Yet without this, people may lose confidence and find it difficult to cope, leading to social isolation and depression.”

Vision Support Service will offer a dedicated and sympathetic service for those newly diagnosed with an eye condition or sight loss. This will help people maintain independence and wellbeing and will offer emotional support, referrals to statutory and voluntary services, advice on what aids and adjustments can make life easier,  help with retaining a job or retraining for new work and  information for family, friends and carers.”

NHS Forth Valley Clinical Service Manager (Ophthalmology) Clare Ballance said their ophthalmology team worked closely with colleagues to provide joined up services for people with sight loss. She explained: “The new Vision Support Service allows us to provide help and advice, within the eye clinic, at the time when they need it most,” she went on. “This is provided by an experienced eye nurse who has received training and ongoing support from RNIB Scotland. Her clinical knowledge and local contacts will be invaluable in developing this new role, in promoting communication and collaboration within the local multi-disciplinary teams, and in helping people living with sight loss to find the support they need.”