BIOS today responded to the Department for Health and Social care (DHSC) consultation on tackling the causes of preventable ill health in England.
We welcome the increased focus on prevention from the government but would encourage a greater focus on vision and eye care. We identify a number of areas in our response, such as child vision screening and orthoptic assessments for stroke and falls patients, that can have a significant impact in preventing both treatable vision defects as well as wider associated health issues.
In particular we raised the need for:
- Mandatory child vision screening in schools and visual assessment for all children in special schools, to ensure all children get the care care they need, regardless of where they live.
- More support for older people with assessing and managing their vision, including orthoptic assessments following falls.
- Promotion of a much better appreciation of the links between vision and mental health, and the role all AHPs can play through MECC and signposting to relevant services.
- Clearer, less fragmented local health systems, including a larger role for community eye services.
The outcomes of the consultation will now be used to inform the development of the expected Prevention Green Paper, which is intended to show the government’s vision for how the prevention agenda can be more fully incorporated into the health and care system.
You can read our full response here.