This report details the actions taken to improve Birmingham City Council’s support for people with sight loss and visual impairment, following our earlier investigation into visual impairment rehabilitation services.
Healthwatch Birmingham investigated visual impairment rehabilitation services provided by Birmingham City Council. This was based on feedback from service users about their difficulties getting care and support for sight loss and visual impairment.
People told us about issues such as:
- Lack of access to specialist Visual Impairment Rehabilitation Officers.
- Confusion about who to contact for support, the registration process and referral routes.
- Assessments fail to take into account other issues and conditions.
- Impersonal support that does not consider individual needs.
In response to our investigation, Birmingham City Council has:
- Recruited an additional Visual Impairment Rehabilitation Officer.
- Improved information, accessibility and navigation on the council’s website.
- Maintained regular contact with everyone on the sight loss register, including regular wellbeing checks for those receiving a care package during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Worked with Focus Birmingham and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to develop additional information leaflets.
Healthwatch Birmingham would like to thank Birmingham City Council, service users and third sector organisations including RNIB, Focus Birmingham, Macular Society and Thomas Pocklington Trust for their participation and involvement in this investigation.