THE UK Vision Strategy has published a report to help inform future collaborative work in the eye health and sight loss sectors.

The Shaping the Future Report is the result of a six-month evaluation and consultation project, commissioned by the Vision Strategy Leadership Group, which more than 750 people participated in through interviews, surveys and engagement events in all four countries in the UK.

The report includes views on the progress made towards the UK Vision Strategy outcomes 2013-2018, the key challenges and successes of the strategy specific to each country, and recommendations, which were co-produced with people who are blind or partially sighted and individuals representing a range of professions in the sectors, to shape future collaborative work.

Fazilet Hadi, Chair of the Vision Strategy Leadership Group and Director of Engagement at RNIB, said she was delighted by the engagement received and that the views of so many blind or partially sighted people were presented in this research.

“Leaders across the eye health and sight loss sectors are strongly committed to ensuring that the UK Vision Strategy is fit for the future, and this report provides a foundation for us to build on the ambition, experience and lessons learnt from the strategy since its launch,” she said.

The learning and recommendations in the report will be taken forward by the Vision Strategy Transition Programme, which is working to seek a renewed agenda for change across the eye health and sight loss sectors.

Recommendations

What future work could focus on

  • Increasing public awareness about eye health and taking care of sight.
  • Lobbying for more research into treatment and cures.
  • Understanding what barriers exist for people to access currently available support.
  • Promoting an asset-based approach, encouraging people to look at what people with sight loss can do rather than what they cannot.
  • Reviewing the Adult UK eye health and sight loss pathway [3] and co-creating a theory of change with accompanying measures of success that can be regularly monitored, evaluated, shared and learned from.

How future work could be organised

  • Nature: should there be another strategy and if so consider how best to write, communicate, lead and implement it? If not what would the alternative be?
  • Greater input and leadership by people with sight loss.
  • Story telling: share people’s stories of the realities of living with sight loss.
  • Campaigns: run simple, public-facing, targeted campaigns.
  • Collaboration: encourage organisations working in eye health and sight loss to work together.
  • Influence local and central governments and the NHS, linking into their existing policies and agendas.
  • A devolved endeavour designed in-country with specific, relevant pursuits.
  • Quality and self-assessment, for example, developing a national standard and templates of good practice with a catalogue of actual good practice that can be showcased.

For more information on the Shaping the Future Project and the Vision Strategy Transition Programme, visit the UK Vision Strategy website.