Don Foster MP

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Regular eye tests crucial to preventing sight loss in Bath - Foster

September 20, 2023 by admin in News

Don Foster MP today met with RNIB at the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham to hear how at least 50% of sight loss in the UK is avoidable if detected and treated early enough.

Visiting the RNIB exhibition stand, designed to look like an old-fashioned haberdashers, he heard how sight loss currently costs the UK economy more than £6bn per year. Ensuring early treatments are available both saves money and prevents unnecessary sight loss.

Commenting, Don said:

“Sight loss affects two million people in the UK, which means there are likely to be over 3,000 people in Bath living with sight loss.

“The RNIB stand demonstrated the importance of early treatment of eye problems - in a very eye-catching way! I will be keeping an eye on availability of treatments locally and urge everyone to make sure they get their eyes tested regularly.”

Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and Campaigns at RNIB, said:

“We are pleased that Don took the time to come and discuss these issues with us during the busy party conference.

“Regular sight tests are vital as they pick up early signs of eye disease and save sight. In addition, reducing unnecessary sight loss makes financial sense for both national and local government.

“There is strong and growing evidence of capacity issues in eye hospitals leading to delays in treatment of common, but serious, conditions including glaucoma and cataracts. These need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

RNIB is calling for Eye Health to be recognised as a public health need in Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and in Health & Wellbeing Strategies, in addition to a specific Indicator around Eye Health in the new NHS performance framework.