18 June 2010 Return to news listings
Over 400 delegates gathered on Tuesday 15 June at Vision UK 2010 in the ICC, Birmingham to celebrate successes and learn about initiatives in eye health and sight loss services.
An important new initiative was unveiled on the day - 'You and your vision: a charter for eye care and sight loss services' and attention was drawn to the new Welsh Vision Strategy Implementation Plan.
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP gave a key address to launch 'You and your vision' which outlines, in clear and jargon-free terms, what people should expect on their eye care journey, reinforcing the drive for seamless health and social care services. Essentially, it places the individual at the heart of the process.
Other keynote speakers included Andrew Walker, a health economist from Glasgow University and Budget Advisor to the Scottish Parliament, and Jan Keunen from VISION 2020 Netherlands.
Andrew Walker offered a unique insight into the way decisions are made in allocating health budgets. He gave examples of how the benefits of treatments for eye disease might be compared to other conditions and the precise calculations used to inform these decisions.
Jan Keunen discussed the necessity of sharing knowledge internationally. He raised the importance of targeting at-risk groups such as the elderly to reduce avoidable sight loss by 2020 and detailed the work taking place in nursing homes to address this throughout the Netherlands. Jan was particularly complimentary about the UK Vision Strategy which, he explained, has been recognised as leading the field in Europe.
UKVS Programme Director, Anita Lightstone says: "Vision UK 2010 was about 'sharing the challenge, making it happen'. The conference demonstrated that we, as a sector, are sharpening our skills in forming alliances, in navigating stormy economic and political waters, and in raising the voices of blind and partially sighted people. We will continue to work together to drive change and improve eye health and sight services across the UK."
During the day, delegates were invited to have their retinas scanned on the National Eye Health Week stand and find out about the wide range of projects taking place across the country in the poster exhibition.
Certificates of excellence were presented for:
. Demonstrative - 'Evaluating the impact of Eye Care Liaison Officers,' Hanna Gillespie-Gallery, Ahalya Subramanian and Miriam Conway, City University London . Innovative - 'Lisburn in Focus - A model of excellence,' Claire Patience - RNIB Northern Ireland . Resourceful - 'Providing data to supporting local commissioning,' Phil Cooke - Information Centre for Health and Social Care
As a courtesy to those who couldn't attend and to make it more accessible, VISION 2020 UK broadcast the conference live from their website. The recorded sessions can be listened to at: www.vision2020uk.org.uk/visionuk2010
The conference and charter are both projects of the UK Vision Strategy (UKVS), which aims to transform the UK's eye health and sight services and provide independence for people with sight loss.
Please click on this link to view full details of this item on the VISION 2020 UK web site: