Health and social care
Evidence gathered by the RNIB indicates that health and social care services are not currently meeting the needs of blind and partially sighted people. 40% of respondents in the RNIB’s (2015) My Voice report stated that information received was never in an accessible format and almost a third found it difficult to access the services they need.
Inaccessible health and social care services put the wellbeing of blind and partially sighted people at risk due to:
- Patients being unable to manage their own healthcare without the support of family and friends
- Increased risk of safeguarding issues through sharing of confidential information
- Increased reluctance to address health problems
- Reduced confidence and independence at daily tasks
- In terms of mental health, blind and partially sighted people also fall below the general population with only one third feeling optimistic about the future often or all the time. They also felt more isolated and less close to others than the general population.
Sight Loss Councils help local blind and partially sighted people feel more integrated into the local networks and the sight loss community as a whole.
The London Sight Loss Council has produced a factsheet with guidance and advice on how to access healthcare information in appropriate and accessible formats. It can be downloaded here.
The London Sight Loss Council has also created a factsheet to signpost blind and partially sighted people towards resources that can help improve or maintain mental health. It can be downloaded here.