The SeeAbility Eye Care Team on stage with their award

SeeAbility Special Schools Team win prestigious award

Our Special Schools Eye Care Team were the proud winners of the Team of the Year award at the RNIB's 2024 See Differently Awards. The award reflects our hard work in convincing the government to commit to rolling out the NHS Special Schools Eye Care Service across all special schools in England.

Gus Alexiou, Forbes journalist and a judge at the awards, commented:

"Specialist eye care services for children with learning and communication difficulties remains a huge area of unmet need across the country. However, [the SeeAbility] team's dedicated work over the past decade in this area have been instrumental in building national guidelines for setting out best practice in this complex area of paediatric care."

The award comes as a timely reminder of the value of the service at a crucial time, when aspects of the service have come under renewed threat. Recent press reports suggest that there could be cuts to the budget which could lead to a poorer quality of service or practitioners being unable to deliver the work. The priority has to be about delivering great outcomes for children, and our award-winning work has given the NHS the perfect blueprint to work from. When it comes to children's eye care, we cannot afford to take shortcuts. There is still time to ensure that the national service starts off on the best footing and delivers the great outcomes for children demonstrated under this existing award winning model.

The SeeAbility Eye Care Team posing with the trophy

Lisa Donaldson, Head of Eye Care at SeeAbility comments:

"This award acknowledges the huge positive impact that a comprehensive model of in school eye care can provide for children with complex needs. Our wonderful, dedicated team are trained to provide an eye care and vision service that optimises each child's visual potential by providing continuity of care, bespoke assessments and, when needed, glasses. Beyond this, their feedback for teaching staff gives the right people the right information to ensure the children's visual abilities and needs are understood. All the evidence shows that without a service like this, too many children are missing out completely. We urge the NHS to commit to this proven model to ensure the service starts off on the best footing possible."

Find out more about the NHS Special Schools Eye Care Service.