Priorities for sight loss prevention and support for those living with sight loss in the London Borough of Havering.

Developed as part of the overall England Vision Strategy

In England, over 1.5 million people are living with sight loss, yet public health messages rarely discuss eye health. Health and social care systems are under immense pressure and often do not join up properly to provide the best care and support for people with sight loss.

Those who are blind or partially sighted frequently find themselves presented with barriers to work, education, travel and leisure.

Local Evidence Base:

The Sight Loss Data Tool provides a comprehensive demographic of Havering, detailing the major health and wellbeing issues and the impact sight loss has on them. The Sight Loss Data Tool contains certification and registration information about blind and partially sighted people, and those at risk of sight loss from related causes, at a local level throughout the UK. It includes information on current services and projections on future need and prevalence. Each Local Authority can be itemised for a full report, and can also be clustered to produce comparative regional reports.

To address the problems faced on a daily basis by individuals with sight loss, and to promote the importance of maintaining good eye health, the leading organisations in England are working together to deliver a plan for change called the England Vision Strategy.

The England Vision Strategy (EVS) works to the aims of the UK Vision Strategy and the Seeing It My Way outcomes nationally and locally for adults and children. To achieve these, the England Vision Strategy has identified six priorities as the key building blocks for change. These priorities were chosen following extensive feedback from stakeholders.

These six key priorities are being addressed across England by task and finish groups actively promoting partnership working across the Adult UK Sight Loss Pathway and the Pathway for Children and Young People (0 to 25 years) with Visual Impairment and their families.

Regional groups are established across all nine England regions with line of sight to every local authority and clinical commissioning group area in England.

To find out more visit:


In Havering, as in many of the London boroughs, a cross sector stakeholder group has been meeting quarterly for the past 4 years to implement and monitor an Action Plan built around the 6 EVS Priorities.

The 6 priorities are:

1.    Detecting eye conditions early, especially in seldom heard groups

Lead national organisation: LOCSU

Local strategic aims:

  • Eye checks post trauma (Falls and Stroke)
  • Eye checks and vision awareness for those with dementia and/or living in care homes
  • Enhanced Eye tests for people with LD: a Havering Bridge to Vision scheme
  • Inclusion of eye health ("When did you last get your eyes tested?") in 40+ and 75+ Health Checks
  • Child screening: Eye checks in schools for Reception age children
  • Annual events and awareness raising programme around eye health and sight loss prevention, focused around National Eye Health Week, coordinated by Public Health & LOC, with support from local sight loss society (Sight Action Havering) and Sensory Service

2.    Promoting a consistent strategy for eye care commissioning

Lead national organisation: Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC)

Local strategic aims:

  • Working with Public Health to ensure Vision is included (or continues to be included) in the JSNA
  • Working with Healthwatch to ensure Vision remains on the Health & Wellbeing agenda
  • Ensuring the Havering Vision Strategy Group links into the appropriate partnership/influencing consortium
  • A formal evaluation of sight loss prevention services and sight loss support services in the Borough by the Health Scrutiny committee
  • The re-instatement of a community low vision service which allows for maximum flexibility for referrals, and avoids unnecessary involvement of GP’s and Ophthalmologists regarding low vision assessments and the prescribing of aids

3.    Improving the Certification process – making sure people who are eligible actually get certified and registered and that relevant data flows through the whole eye health and sight loss pathway

Lead national organisation: Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Local strategic aims:

  • Ensuring join-up, communication and fluidity in adult CVI pathway
  • Ensuring join-up, communication and fluidity in children's CVI pathway

4.    Early intervention to ensure practical and emotional support post diagnosis (for example, an ECLO available in every eye department)

Lead national organisation: Action for Blind People

Local strategic aims:

  • Liaising with Action/RNIB to achieve the aim of an ECLO in every eye clinic across BHRUT.
  • Ensuring the sustainability and development of Sight Action Havering's Sight Support Service

5.    Habilitation and rehabilitation available on a free and timely basis for as long as needed to learn or relearn key life skills including mobility


Rehabilitation (Adults):

Lead national organisation: RNIB

Local strategic aims:

  • Given the fact that over 24% of Havering’s population are over 60, ensuring that planning takes place, and resourcing issues are addressed, re the sensory team’s ability to meet current and future demands in the light of the increasing numbers forecast of vision impaired people in the borough aged 60 and over.
  • Providing local insight and intelligence so that sector partners can effectively work with local providers to
    • Monitor resources
    • Monitor Care Act compliance
  • Scope opportunities for cross borough collaboration


Habilitation (Children):

Lead national organisation: Blind Children UK/Guide Dogs

Local strategic aims:

  • Linking with Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) and Guide Dogs/Blind Children UK (NB. YP forums, Employability projects)
  • Ensuring smooth transition into adult services
  • Monitoring the five areas of focus for Children and Young People as outlined in the Vision 2020 UK CYP Pathway:
    • Eye Screening and Eye Tests
    • Certification of a Vision Impairment (CVI) and Registration
    • Early Years Support
    • Secondary School Education
    • Transition to Adulthood

6.    Development of peer support and self-help groups in every community for adults, children and families to provide voluntary sector support for independent living and to lobby for inclusive local public services

Lead national organisation: Thomas Pocklington Trust

Local strategic aims:

  • Ensuring local organisations and societies are feeding into Vision Strategy
  • Ensuring local VI people are consulted and updated on activity and progress regularly (annually?)
  • Monitoring Accessible Information Standard (AIS) implementation, in partnership with Healthwatch
  • Ensuring VI people are consulted and advising on local environmental (eg. car parking, shared space, street furniture, overhanging bushes, built environment, etc) and transport issues (eg. talking buses, changes to station areas, etc)

The aims nationally of the EVS are outlined in the Priority Action Plan Overview:

The Adult UK eye health and sight loss pathway revised January 2015 can be seen at:

The Children's Sight Loss Pathway was revised in Dec 2016 and can be seen at:

 Appendix 1

 Seeing It My Way

Seeing it my way is an initiative to ensure that every blind and partially sighted person, regardless of age, ethnicity, extent of sight loss, other disabilities, or location across the UK, has access to the same range of information and support. 

Seeing it my way sets out a range of outcomes, that is specific changes that blind and partially sighted people have told us are most important to them and want to make a reality. 

Summary of Seeing It My Way outcomes

Seeing it my way has 10 outcomes. All are equal in value and are not listed in any order of priority.

  • That I understand my eye condition and the registration process.
  • That I have someone to talk to.
  • That I can look after my health, my home, my family and myself.
  • That I receive statutory benefits, and information and support that I need.
  • That I can make the best use of the sight I have.
  • That I can access information making the most of the advantages   that technology brings.
  • That I can get out and about.
  • That I have the tools, skills and confidence to communicate.
  • That I have equal access to education and life long learning.
  • That I can work and volunteer.

More information at: 

 Appendix 2

Diagram: Impact of Visual Impairment on Health & Wellbeing

 (diagram not available)