Low vision services aim to enable people with loss of vision to regain or maintain as much independence and autonomy as possible, and can include rehabilitation, visual aids, emotional support and advice. Low vision is common in older people and impacts on every part of a person’s life. It is associated with falls, reduced capacity to carry out everyday activities, the need for residential care and is one of the strongest risk factors for functional status decline in community living adults. Evidence suggests that low vision services significantly reduce visual disability and are associated with positive patient outcomes. Furthermore, for the relatively small costs of low vision aids, there can be huge cost saving in terms of health and social care support.
To enable effective planning of services and respond to the needs of an ageing population, it is essential to understand the current provision within Scotland. To date, there has been no comprehensive review of services to facilitate this planning.
The review identifies a number of challenges to consider for future planning of services, including access, service capacity and effective integration and signposting between service providers.