A new resource called ‘People with learning disabilities and eye care – what every LEHN and LOC needs to know’ has been launched by the national sight loss and disability charity, SeeAbility with the support of LOCSU.
Research estimates that adults with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to have serious sight problems than other people. For children, the figure grows to 28 times more likely.
Despite this, many people with learning disabilities are not receiving the eye care they need. The new resource outlines how LEHN’s and LOC’s can work with SeeAbility to improve access to eye care for people with learning disabilities in their area by:
Suggesting enhancements to community sight tests and targeted work in special schools for people with learning disabilities to be included in Eye Health Needs Assessments.
Discussing with Commissioners about dedicated services for hard-to-reach groups
Promoting the LOCSU community eye care pathway for people with learning disabilities over the age of 14. It has been successfully piloted in a number of areas and provides trained optometrists, reasonably adjusted appointments and support and accessible information for the individual.
SeeAbility and LOCSU are already working with and supporting a number of LEHN’s and CCG’s around the country. This will help to deliver the LEHN and England Vision Strategy ambition to improve access and detect eye conditions early in hard to reach groups.
By transforming eye care for people with learning disabilities there will be savings on wider health and social care costs, reducing numbers of people being seen in hospital for regular sight tests and preventing high level health and social care needs arising from untreated sight loss.