What challenges do people with sight loss face accessing vision rehabilitation services in Birmingham?Download (PDF 8.26MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Birmingham investigated the challenges people with sight loss face when they access Birmingham City Council’s vision rehabilitation services. They spoke to 33 individuals who were either registered sight impaired or severely sight impaired and a small number who were not yet registered.
Overall, the people they spoke to agreed on the importance of vision rehabilitation services. Vision rehabilitation support was seen as important to people’s independence, confidence and security as well as having an economic benefit. Those that received rehabilitation indicated that this helped them be an active member of their community. However, people with a visual impairment face challenges when they access Birmingham City Council’s vision rehabilitation service. These challenges occur at four different points in their engagement:
- Initial contact with the vision rehabilitation team following diagnosis – referral
- Vision rehabilitation assessment – assessment of needs and specialist assessments
- Lack of referral to other services, information or organisations based on assessment of needs
- Post vision rehabilitation support – follow-up and reviews
Healthwatch Birmingham asked people what would improve the support on offer. People made a number of suggestions to address the issues found in the research.