Hounslow Council, The Practice Group and Leading Ophthalmic Partners Co-host Preventing and Managing Sight Loss Conference

Learn about some of the biggest issues associated with sight loss from industry experts including the RNIB, The International Glaucoma Association and the Middlesex Association for the Blind


The London Borough of Hounslow is partnering with The Practice Group and leading ophthalmic industry experts including the RNIB, The International Glaucoma Association and the Middlesex Association for the Blind to raise awareness of the critical issues involved in preventing and managing sight loss. The event itself which will feature high profile speakers from leading UK institutions including Moorfields Eye Hospital, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the RNIB will take place on 3rd October from 10am – 5pm, at the Hounslow Civic Centre.


Having recognised the importance of preventing sight loss, Hounslow Council formed their ‘Hounslow Right for Sight Group’ in 2014. The Group’s aim was to bring service users, providers, clinicians and Council members together to discuss the key issues affecting those with sight loss within the borough and how further sight loss could be prevented.


Celia Golden, Head of Equality & Human Rights for Hounslow Council explains:


“Our Group works across five key themes that we have developed alongside local residents. These themes include promoting and preventing sight loss, diagnosis and treatment, support for the newly diagnosed and independent living, which is split into two theme areas to cover support with getting around and increasing access and participation to sport and leisure activities for the visually impaired. Over the past four years The Group has made great progress with our themes, supporting residents across The Borough. Councillors Dunne and Collins will be updating residents about these achievements and what is means for them during the opening address of the conference.” 


With eye health presently a hot topic of debate during National Eye Health Week, which is promoting the importance of regular eye sight tests, the Preventing and Managing Sight Loss Conference, will build on this with practical advice about how to minimise sight loss risks and strategies for managing long term eye conditions.


It is an event key members of The Group decided to arrange in order to give local Hounslow residents the opportunity to learn more about eye health from a wide range of industry experts. Topics of discussion will include some of the most common diseases that contribute to sight loss, tips on prevention and spotting symptoms, and the latest developments in technology that are helping to improve diagnosis and those currently struggling with impaired vision.


Key sessions over the course of the day will also cover presentations from the Chair of Hounslow’s CCG Clinical Diabetes Network, Dr Raquel on Diabetes and Sight Loss and Mr Arun Gupta, Consultant Ophthalmologist who will be talking about Preventing Sight Loss and Spotting Symptoms.


Other highlights will include Pearse Keane, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfield Hospital and his presentation on Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology and a session from Robin Christopherson MBE (Head of Digital Inclusion Ability Net) looking at Technology – The Power and the Promise.


Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Workforce, Hounslow Council who will also be speaking at the event, said:


“Research by the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) suggests that 50 per cent of cases of blindness and serious sight loss could be prevented if detected and treated in time. Many people consider sight loss as the inevitable consequence of ageing – something that we have to put up with or adjust to. But half of all sight loss could be prevented if it had been treated early enough.


By partnering with leading charities, our aspiration is to deliver the local services that people with sight loss across Hounslow need and deserve. We want to ensure that everyone with an eye condition receives timely treatment and if permanent sight loss occurs, early and appropriate services and support are available and accessible to all.”


Visual impairment a growing issue in the UK, which is why the Practice Group felt so compelled to support this event. Dr Jeremy Rose, Clinical Director of the Practice Group explains:


“Currently there are almost two million people in the UK having to live with sight loss. But what’s interesting is that half of those cases could have been avoidable through greater education and awareness – key reasons why this event is so important. So, when we had the chance to co-host this event with Hounslow Council, we knew it was of huge importance for us to support. The Hounslow Right for Sight Group and its members do fantastic work in the local area supporting those who are visually impaired or at risk of becoming visually impaired. We are very proud to be members of the group, helping to keep the residents of Hounslow healthy”.


To find out more about this event, please click on the website http://www.hounslowhub.org.uk/preventing-and-managing-sight-loss-wednesday-3rd-october-2018-1000-430/