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Creating an easy care pathway for those with LD

Seeing Beyond the Challenges to create an Easy Eye Care Pathway for People with Learning Disabilities

 


At a recent event eye care practitioners, patients and eye care organisations came together to pledge their support for the Easy Eye Care pathway in the North West of England, which makes it easier for people with learning disabilities and autism to get good eye care.

The Seeing Beyond the Challenges event was held on Tuesday 28th November, hosted by not for profit provider collaborative Primary Eyecare Services and learning disability charity SeeAbility.

The event celebrated the work that is being done to improve eye care services for people with learning disabilities in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria.


People with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have a sight problem but much less likely to have had a sight test. Helping more people with learning disabilities get a sight test means more people living with better eyesight and not losing their independence or quality of life.

With appropriate preparation and adaptation, a successful sight test can be completed for anyone. You don’t need to be able to read or talk and no-one is too disabled to have a sight test.

To create these adaptations and improve health equality for people with learning disabilities and autism, the Easy Eye Care pathway was developed by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU), with the help of SeeAbility, Mencap, and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Accredited local optical practices are funded to see patients with learning disabilities and provide additional support.

The Seeing Beyond the Challenges event provided an opportunity to agree how access to the Easy Eye Care service can be embedded and promoted to ensure everyone has the opportunity to benefit, following the launch of the NHS Greater Manchester five year plan to improve access to primary care services with its commitment to reduce health inequalities.

Attendees heard from patients with lived experience accessing the pathway and practitioners delivering the Easy Eye Care service, with talks from Eye Care Champion Joanne Kennedy from SeeAbility and Manchester People First, and Edward Ovenden, a practitioner who delivers the pathway.

Quotes:

“Because of my own lived experience, I know how important it is for people with learning disabilities to be able to get they eye care they need. The Easy Eye Care pathway will help people to maximise what they can see and detect eye problems early on. This will help people with learning disabilities to be independent and live great lives!”

Joanne Kennedy, North West Eye Care Champion, SeeAbility

“Everybody working in healthcare recognises the importance of addressing health inequalities, but we haven’t done enough yet to meet the additional needs of people with learning disabilities.

“The Easy Eye Care pathway presents an opportunity for the eye care sector to address that need by providing an essential service that supports patients who are frequently overlooked in their efforts to lead independent and fulfilling lives.”

Richard Everitt, Chair of Primary Eyecare Services’ Easy Eye Care Working Group, and the organisation’s Service Development Director

Links

About me and my eyes https://www.seeability.org/resources/about-me-and-my-eyes

Eye test results https://www.seeability.org/resources/results-my-eye-test

SeeAbility produce a number of eye care information factsheets, many in Easy Read format https://www.seeability.org/resources?resource_specialism=10

More about the Easy Eye Care Pathway in the North West of England https://primaryeyecare.co.uk/make-a-difference-practices-wanted-to-deliver-community-learning-disabilities-pathway/

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