Pictured above: Leicester resident Danielle Geraghty has her eyes tested on board the Vision Express Vision Van
The Vision Express Vision Van, back on the road last week for a UK tour for National Eye Health Week 2016, has helped boost the eye health outlook of the nation – with 1 in 7 tested referred for further medical attention. This represents the largest referral rate per test in the three years the Vision Van has been commissioned, underpinning why the initiative is so crucial. Referrals were made throughout the week for eye health issues such as suspected glaucoma and keratoconus, visual field defects, squints and nevus requiring further investigation.
Over half of those tested on the Vision Van from 19 to 23 September had an out of date prescription, with a similar number confessing to not having had an eye test in the past five years.
The campaign prompted a significant peak in eye test enquiries. More than double the average weekly number of tests were booked online, buoyed by a nationwide free eye test offer. Website visits increased by 38 per cent, and over 35,000 people interacted with the Vision Van tour on social media.
Jonathan Lawson, Vision Express CEO, commented: “We’re delighted by the record response to this campaign. Our key concern is for the public to take their eye health and eye care seriously, and the starting point is an eye examination. I would like to thank our tremendous teams across the country for responding so positively to the high demand for eye exams experienced during the campaign. We have also seen a fantastic response to our Vision Van, which further demonstrates our commitment to the nation’s eye health and gives us a huge endorsement for Vision Taken Seriously.”
Throughout the week, the Vision Van visited Portsmouth, Swindon, Swansea, Leicester and Leeds with MPs Felicity Drummond (Portsmouth South) and Carolyn Harris (Swansea East) showing their support, alongside Vision Express charity partners the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, Stroke Association, Macular Society and International Glaucoma Association. Public Health England volunteers joined too, educating local residents about smoking and vision loss, providing information on the help available to quit the habit during Stoptober, a campaign Vision Express will be proudly supporting.