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Low vision services 'not evenly spread'

Odera Ezenna

Services available to people with very poor eyesight "are not evenly spread throughout West Sussex", the Royal National Institute for the Blind has said.

Responsibility was passed on to local authority following the Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision to withdraw funding for low vision services in 2018.

Christine Glanville, the RNIB’s network manager for south east England, said at a health and adult social care select committee at West Sussex County Council, there were 5,000 people in Horsham and Mid Sussex living with sight loss. A number slightly above the national average.

Patients are referred elsewhere for help and have to pay for services usually provided freely across the rest of the county.

Ms Glanville added: “There is a need to reinstate a low vision service for those patients who’ve had no low vision service for over a year now.”

Meanwhile, Frances Russell, of Healthwatch West Sussex, said people were not aware of the help already available to them.

“I think there’s a real need to get this service sorted out and publicised.”

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