PM backs new vision for eye care
Published on 11 June 2013 12:00 PM
The Prime Minister is calling for an overhaul of NHS eye care services to cope with the challenges they face from the UK's rapidly ageing population.
David Cameron has given his support to the UK Vision Strategy, a campaign to make eye health a greater priority among health and social care organisations.
Poor eyesight likely to increase
Not being able to see properly, or at all, can have a significant effect on people's quality of life, the PM said, before warning that the problem of poor eyesight is likely to increase as medical improvements help people live longer lives. He said the considerable challenge that the UK faces can only be met by making sure eye health care services are better organised and more effective for the future.
A 'way to cope'
The five-year UK Vision Strategy has been drawn up by sight loss charities such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People and various eye health bodies to find a way to cope with the expected four million people in the UK who will have problems with their sight by 2050. That figure is double the amount of people who currently suffer from blindness or poor eyesight.
The five-year strategy
The strategy has set out three main priorities for the next five years. The first is to make all UK residents aware of the need to look after their own eyes and their vision. The second is to ensure all patients with eye conditions are treated in good time and those with permanent problems are given the right treatment and support. The strategy also aims to make sure people who have problems with their eyes can still play an important part in society.
Mr Cameron said he is backing a 'collaborative approach' among organisations to improve services for people with eye problems. The strategy's programme director Anita Lightstone welcomed his support. She said more instances of sight loss could be prevented and the blind and partially sighted could receive more help with their conditions if all of the different health and social care organisations worked together more effectively.
Copyright Press Association 2013