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> 23/01/12 | Government commit to tackling avoidable sight loss

Government commit to tackling avoidable sight loss

Today's announcement by the Government that it is making eye health a public health priority has been welcomed by the UK Vision Strategy, a united cross-sector initiative.

The Public Health Outcomes Framework, launched today by the Government, includes an eye health indicator. This indicator will track the rates of three major causes of sight loss including glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. In many cases sight loss from these eye conditions can be prevented if detected and treated earlier.

Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chair, UK Vision Strategy partnership and Chief Executive, RNIB said: "We are delighted the Government has turned the spotlight on improving the eye health of the nation. This is a major breakthrough for tackling avoidable sight loss.

"It should help prevent many more people from losing their sight and could potentially make significant savings for the new NHS. We look forward to working closely with the new NHS and Public Health England to make this vision a reality".

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For more information, spokespeople or case studies please contact Katherine Huntly, UK Vision Strategy Communications Manager on 0207 391 2177.

If you are calling out of hours please call 07824431960

Notes to Editors

 The eye health indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework will measure the rate of sight loss through chronic glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy per 100,000 of the population. The data used will be based on CVI (certificate of visual impairment) registrations and will be measured annually.

 The indicator should enable the eye health and sight loss sector to work with the new NHS and Public Health  England to improve eye health and counter issues of inequality across England

 The UK Vision Strategy Partnership including Royal National Institute of Blind People,  Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the Optical Confederation and College of Optometrists lobbied for a Public Health Outcomes Indicator to be included in the Public Health Outcomes Framework

 The UK Vision Strategy is a united cross-sector initiative to improve eye health and sight loss services across the UK. Over 650 individuals and organisations have played a direct role in creating the Strategy. 

 The Strategy was developed in response to the World Assembly's VISION 2020 resolution, the Strategy aims to reduce avoidable sight loss by the year 2020. More information

 Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss. (Source: Access Economics, 2009)


 The number of people in the UK with sight loss is set to increase dramatically. It is predicted that by 2050 the number of people with sight loss in the UK will double to nearly four million (Source: Access Economics, 2009)

 Eye care costs (direct and indirect) in 2008 were 6.5 billion. By 2013 these costs will have risen to 7.9 billion. (Source: Access Economics, 2009)

 Sight loss affects people of all ages. As we get older we are increasingly likely to experience sight loss (Source: Access Economics, 2009)