Parliamentary reception on eye health

The Optical Confederation is joining with leading organisations from the sight loss sector and Lord Low of Dalston, CBE to host a parliamentary reception on Tuesday 12 January. The event aims to encourage MPs to support local NHS eye services and promote social inclusion for visually impaired people.

Almost two million adults and young people in the UK are living with a serious sight problem – on average 3,000 people in every parliamentary constituency. MPs and decision makers attending the reception will learn that this number could double by 2050 unless decisive action is taken now to modernise and integrate eye services across the NHS estate.

The cost of eye disease and sight loss in the UK is estimated at almost £22 billion a year. Failure to invest in early detection and treatment could lead to increased spending in health, education, social care and training.

Responding to recent comments by the Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt MP, the Optical Confederation will aim to show the role the optical sector can play in supporting NHS reform and delivering more care in the community to support patients and ease capacity challenges in GP and hospital services.

Sponsored by the UK Vision Strategy, Optical Confederation and Thomas Pocklington Trust, the event will follow on from the work of the UK Vision Strategy Manifesto and urge MPs from all parties to commit to improving services within their constituencies to promote public health, integrate key services and support people faced with losing their vision.