UK Vision Strategy

In April 2008, the UK Vision Strategy was published, setting out a framework for improving the eye health services over the next five years.

The UK Vision Strategy is a ground-breaking Vision2020 UK initiative, led by RNIB and supported by the optical bodies, to develop a unified plan for action on all issues relating to sight loss and eye health, across the four countries of the UK.

The UK Vision Strategy has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly Vision 2020 resolution to reduce avoidable blindness by the year 2020. Members of the Optical Confederation were involved in the development of the strategy with a view improving the eye health of the nation, a key aim of the strategy.

It has brought together people with sight loss, users of eye care services, eye health and social care professionals and statutory and voluntary organisations. This ground-breaking coalition has produced a unified framework for action on all issues relating to vision.

Sight Loss & Vision Priority Setting Partnership

The Optical Confederation were pleased to hear that the Eye Research Agenda which came from the VISION 2020UK Eye Research Group has now become the new Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership.

The aim of the Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership is to identify the unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a number of different sight loss and eye conditions from the perspectives of patients/service users and eye health professionals and then prioritise those which both groups agree are the most important.

The objectives of the Partnership are:

- to work with patients/service users and eye health professionals to identify unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sight loss and eye conditions

- to agree by consensus a prioritised list of those unanswered questions, for each condition, for future research

- to publicise the results of the PSP and process to take the results to research commissioning bodies to be considered for funding.

The Partnership will be led by a Steering Group headed by representatives from Fight for Sight, the College of Optometrists, the UK Vision Strategy and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital. It will also include representatives of patient/service user groups and health care professionals from ophthalmology, optometry, orthoptics, ophthalmic nursing and social care.

The Optical Confederation supports and endorses the Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership’s report Setting Priorities for Eye Research (October 2013) - http://fightforsight.org.uk/tl_files/Documents/Sight-Loss-PSP/SLV-PSP_Final_Report_WEB.pdf.  The framework provides a helpful focus for the prioritisation and coordination of research across the sector. This will help prevent duplication, fragmentation and the dilution of scarce research resources in a time of austerity. The Optical Confederation will ensure that any research it commissions or participates in supports this strategy and is widely shared for the public benefit.