Our Policy and Campaigns Officer Victoria talks about the common problems she experiences with healthcare professionals, and asks for your top tips!
In my role as eye health assistant Policy and Campaigns Officer a lot of people with sight loss tell me about the difficulties they experience when visiting a GP or hospital.
Sometimes these difficulties are frustrating and embarrassing, such as being left to sit in a GP waiting room wondering when you will be called - only to find that your name has appeared on a visual display system which you can't see and you've missed your turn. At other times these difficulties can be more serious: a visually impaired loved one sick in hospital hasn't been eating or drinking because their food and water is being left on a tray for them without them being told.
As someone with sight loss and a long term condition myself, I have experienced first-hand the frustration of, for example, being sat in an eye hospital waiting room and hearing my name called only to discover the ghost to have already disappeared back into their consulting room - which room? For me, this demonstrates a real lack of understanding of sight loss and its effects. Of course, these health professionals are usually rushed off their feet - but a few simple changes in practice could make a world of difference.
That's why I want you to help me create some top tips for health professionals who work with people with sight loss (that's all of them!) so we can at least let them know what they should be doing. We'll be sharing your top tips which NHS executives and you can even show them to your hospital or GP if you have problems.
Please email me your top tips - what should doctors and nurses be doing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 020 7391 3267.