Sight Loss Pathway: Final report
Sight loss can be a challenge to adapt to and an early, clinically appropriate, supportive, sympathetic, and efficient pathway is vital to facilitate the treatment needed, but also to ensure good patient experience.
This report examines that pathway from a patient perspective with the aim of improving patient experiences.
- People with vision impairment would benefit from information about their eye condition at the point of referral, during their hospital visits or at certification /registration. There is evidence of lack of integration and continuation at the point of certification by eyecare professionals and registration with social services, leading to inadequate support for reablement.
- Consultant ophthalmologists are not always aware that certification will not automatically lead to registration with social services, and evidence suggests that there is a lack of knowledge as to what social support the patient can access post certification.
- Very few eyecare professionals signpost patients to the support offered by third sector (charity) support.
- Mental health issues are prevalent in people with sight loss, however emotional support is not offered generally at any stage in the pathway.
- Patients are unaware of waiting times for hospital appointments which is a cause for anxiety.
- Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) are universally accepted by patients as providing essential information and support, with those embedded in hospital eye services being regarded as more beneficial to patients’ needs.