A stitch in time

Today I met with the Royal National Institute for the Blind at the Conservative conference in Manchester to hear how at least 50% of sight loss in the UK is avoidable if detected and treated early enough.

Visiting the award-winning RNIB exhibition stand, designed to look like an old-fashioned haberdashers, I heard how sight loss currently costs the UK economy more than £6bn per year and how ensuring early treatments are available both saves money and prevents unnecessary sight loss.

Sight loss affects two million people in the UK, which means there are likely to be 3,000 people living with sight loss in Great Yarmouth. The RNIB stand demonstrated the importance of early treatment of eye problems in a very eye-catching way! I will be keeping an eye on availability of treatments locally and urge everyone to make sure they get their eyes tested regularly.

Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and Campaigns at RNIB, said:

“We are pleased that Brandon took the time to come and discuss these issues with us during the busy party conference. Regular sight tests are vital as they pick up early signs of eye disease and save sight. In addition, reducing unnecessary sight loss makes financial sense for both national and local government.

“There is strong and growing evidence of capacity issues in eye hospitals leading to delays in treatment of common, but serious, conditions including glaucoma and cataracts. These need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

4th October 2011