Newsletter: June 2009 - Conference issue

A great day was had by all who attended the Vision 2009 Conference on Thursday 4 June.

We heard about an increasing number of groundbreaking initiatives - all in line with the ambitions of the UK Vision Strategy. But more importantly, it was exciting to hear your views about how we can work together to improve eye care and sight loss services.

By working collectively, it is possible to achieve changes that none of us could achieve on our own, so let's go forward together.

Anita Lightstone
Programme Director - UK Vision Strategy

Conference Success

With over 450 attendees, the conference hosted by RNIB and supported by Department of Health featured many entertaining and informative speeches, including Peter White (Broadcaster and Author) and Ben Dyson (Department of Health). What's more, there were real stories of people whose lives have benefited from successful partnerships between eye care and social care services.

Audio recordings of the day

Audio recordings and notes from the sessions will be made available on UK Vision Strategy and RNIB websites shortly, so watch this space.

New resource for Primary Care Trusts and local authorities

Emphasising improvements for patients, Department of Health's Director of Primary Care, Ben Dyson announced the undertaking of a fresh World Class Commissioning eye-care guide to be ready in autumn 2009. The resource will act as a guide for Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and local authorities to build on the work already achieved by the UK Vision Strategy. The resource tool will have the official approval of World Class Commissioning and UK Vision Strategy.

Future Sight Loss UK

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) launched 'Future Sight Loss UK' a study on the prevalence and costs of sight loss. The study which comprises two pieces of research undertaken by Access Economics and EpiVision has received much interest from delegates and media alike, and supports both the aims and objectives of UK Vision Strategy.

Download your copy of the research at

Implementation Plans

Implementation plans for England and Scotland were made available at the conference. The plans outline the work required to deliver tangible improvements, setting priority areas against the three key outcomes, as outlined in the UK Vision Strategy report. The Northern Ireland plan is also now available.

Download your implementation plan at

Making the strategy happen

The city of Leeds has already developed and commenced implementation of a local Vision Strategy with some fantastic results. NHS and Leeds City Council representative James Woodhead spoke of the work happening at local level. This work includes, targeting at risk groups such as the Afro-Caribbean population, employing eye care liaison officers (ECLO), and offering training for assistant occupational therapists and social workers in how to better support and rehabilitate people with sight loss.