Eye health specialists urged to help change the future of eye research

  • 16 May 2012

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Fight for Sight, the leading UK charity dedicated to funding pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease, and the College of Optometrists, the professional, scientific and examining body for optometry in the UK, working for the public benefit, are calling on eye health professionals across the UK to help change the future of eye research. 

The two organisations have joined forces with the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the RNIB and the UK Vision Strategy to launch the Sight Loss and Vision Survey, with the support of the James Lind Alliance. From the beginning of May, anyone working in the field of ophthalmology, optometry and orthoptics, as well as people living with sight loss and their carers, will be able to take part in the survey and put forward their most pressing questions which need to be answered by further eye research. 

The information gathered by the Sight Loss and Vision survey will help ensure that future research programmes funded by charities and organisations across the UK can be targeted according to the prioritised needs of people living with sight loss, their carers and eye health professionals. 

Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight for Sight said: “Currently in the UK, there are almost two million people whose lives are affected by sight loss.  With limited resources available, it is crucial that eye health professionals have their say in prioritising medical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. For the first time, the Sight Loss and Vision Survey will allow eye health specialists to do just that. We hope that as many professionals as possible working in the field of eye health all over the UK take part and tell us which questions they want research to answer.”

Michael Bowen, the College’s Director of Research, said: “One of the aims of the College is to provide the necessary evidence base to raise standards of optometric practice for the benefit of the public. We want to help optometrists to offer the best value and most clinically effective service to patients. This initiative will help us to focus our research efforts on filling the most important gaps in evidence in optometric practice, based on what patients, our members and other health practitioners say, and we are delighted to be a key player.”

Anyone who would like to take part in the Sight Loss and Vision survey can do so at www.sightlosspsp.org.uk . Large print and braille versions of the survey are available on request.
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