Following the sad closure of Vision UK, we are pleased to confirm that a new project, jointly funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust and RNIB, is underway to determine the best way forward for the England Vision Strategy (EVS).
The England Vision Strategy, along with its counterparts in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, aims to address the challenges faced on a daily basis by individuals with visual impairment and to promote the importance of maintaining good eye health. These four nation strategies feed into the UK Vision Strategy.
The project is hosted by Visionary, as one of the organisation members of the EVS Strategic Committee, and jointly overseen with Richard Whittington, CEO of LOCSU and Chair of the EVS.
Richard said: “I am really pleased Thomas Pocklington Trust and RNIB are able to fund the EVS review project. This will enable us to review and re-energise the EVS priorities as well as build links with other Vision Strategies across the UK.
“Building on the previous successes of the EVS and working with partners, I hope the EVS will be able to continue to champion the needs of people experiencing sight loss as well as work with partners involved in sight loss prevention.”
As part of the review, we would like to invite views from Visionary members about the next steps for the England Vision Strategy. Things to consider might be:
- the role the England Vision Strategy should play in the sector at a national and a local level;
- who the England Vision Strategy should be influencing, what issues it should address, and how it should address them;
- the benefit of the England Vision Strategy for blind and partially sighted people and as those at risk of sight loss as well as the eye health and sight loss sector as a whole;
- where things have worked well previously through the England Vision Strategy as well as where improvements could have been made;
- anything else you would like to raise.
Feedback should be sent to Phil Ambler, Project Manager, England Vision Strategy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for feedback is Friday 19 February.
The current priorities of the England Vision Strategy are:
- Prevention: To improve eye health and prevent sight-loss across England within diverse groups and the wider population:
- Services: Adults, children, young people and their families have access to the right services, advice and support when eye health and sight loss problems arise. They can also learn, relearn or retain key life skills on a continuing basis as driven by their needs with access to appropriate professional support, aids and adaptations including technology.
- Inclusive Society: To develop and enable face to face and online peer support opportunities and self-help and self-advocacy resources to empower adults, children, young people and their families to achieve their aspirations. To also promote inclusive environments and equality of opportunity to enable blind and partially sighted people to fully participate, contribute and live independently.
The aims of the review project are to:
- Develop a detailed analysis, presented as a final report, of the situation in England relating to the England Vision Strategy priorities.
- Develop a national plan for delivery of the England Vision Strategy including reviewing membership of the England Vision Strategy Strategic Committee.
- Re-engage with the regional partners, through the Local Eye Health Networks, where they exist, and other routes where they do not. The aim is to gather local insight across the eye health and sight loss pathway.
- Work in partnership with the other country Vision Strategy leads, develop closer working between the four country Vision Strategies (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).
- Establish the continued health and charity sector links with social care primarily with ADASS and through activity to engage with Skills for Care. This is currently an area of importance and risk for the sector.
- Support the redevelopment of the Adult UK Eye Health and Sight Loss Pathway. Also, ensure that these redevelopments are seen alongside redevelopment work being undertaken via the National Outpatient Redesign and Restoration Project currently being led nationally by NHSE-I.
- Provide Secretariat function to the England Vision Strategy Strategic Committee including providing guidance and support to the Chair, England Vision Strategy.
- Maintain England Vision Strategy social media channels.