New Eye Care Support Pathway wins cross-sector backing for transforming the way people with eye care needs and sight loss are helped emotionally and practically

RNIB and leading organisations from across the eye care and sight loss sector have worked in partnership to develop a UK wide Eye Care Support Pathway. The Pathway is a new framework to ensure patients have timely access to information, advice and support throughout their eye care journey.

The over-arching ambition for the Eye Care Support Pathway is that from the moment someone realises that “something isn’t quite right” with their sight, through to diagnosis and being able to live confidently – and independently – with their condition, they have access to the information, and support they need. Patients should be able to actively participate and take control of their eye care journey.

23 organisations have already endorsed the Eye Care Support Pathway. Two years of work have led up to the publication of the Pathway report – informed by detailed research, the insight of more than 500 people with lived experience and more than 30 bodies who represent professionals and patients across the sector.

RNIB’s Chief Executive Officer Matt Stringer said: “We know that the experience of people with eye care needs and sight loss varies greatly across the UK. It’s not acceptable that anyone, regardless of their condition or where they live, does not get the right help and support at the right time.

Louisa Wickham, National Clinical Director for Eye Care at NHS England, said: “Success in transforming the way eye care services are provided to meet the increasing demand on the NHS will require the whole sector to transform its approach to improving patient care. The Eye Care Support pathway puts the person at the centre of their eye care and sight loss journey. When the Eye Care Support Pathway is implemented, we must seize the opportunity to truly transform services, empower patients and improve outcomes. I’m grateful to our VI sector charity partners for collaborating in developing and publishing the Eye Care Support Pathway and in bringing people together to embed the framework into services and ensure that every person gets the right support at every stage.”

Bushra Mushtaq, Chair of the UKOA said: “We are delighted to see all sectors coming together with this Pathway providing a holistic approach to patients with eye conditions with both clinical and support pathways, reinforcing the entire patient journey and making them more informed and empowered.”

For more information about the eye care support pathway, read the full report here.

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