A SeeAbility eye care champion talks to people with learning disabilities.

New Easy Eye Care Service goes live in South East London!

We’re excited to announce a fantastic new eye care service for people in South East London who have learning disabilities and autism.

The Easy Eye Care Service, which launched on 18 September, enables people with a GP in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham or Southwark boroughs to book a sight test with a local optician, where they will receive a tailored appointment to meet their individual needs.

Around 9,000 people in South East London have a learning disability and 21,000 are autistic. Adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems than the general population but they are less likely to receive eye care such as sight tests or glasses.

However, everyone can have an eye test – you don’t need to be able to read or speak. With the right preparation and adaptation, a successful sight test can be completed. Receiving eye care locally without needing to go to a hospital means people will have easier and quicker access to glasses and treatment. Longer term this can prevent sight loss.

The new Easy Eye Care Service was commissioned by the NHS South East London Integrated Care Board after SeeAbility made the case using data from our work over many years in special schools across London.

Now SeeAbility is promoting the new service through our team of Eye Care Champions, who have lived experience of learning disabilities and autism. 

Grace McGill is one of our Eye Care Champions. She said: 

“The Easy Eye Care pathway will help people to maximise what they can see and detect eye problems early on. This will help people with learning disabilities to be independent and live great lives!”

Dr Esther Appleby, GP, South East London said:

“Now that the Easy Eye Care Pathway has been established, we can refer patients for an eye check as part of their Annual Health Check, knowing that their additional needs will be met. This is a really valuable opportunity for our patients, and we must ensure that they are given it. Thank you for your help.”