6 June 2003
Demographic changes and improvements in health care have led to an increasing elderly population and longer life expectation. Emphasis is laid on older people retaining their independence in the community, yet for a variety of reasons current service provision does not always meet the needs of this vulnerable group. Visual impairment affects all age groups but predominantly older people and therefore the demand for low vision services is likely to increase.
The Low Vision Services Consensus Group, which included representatives from the healthcare professional bodies, the Department of Health, the voluntary sector and Social Services, published its report Low Vision Services: Recommendations for future service delivery in the UK in 1999. The report describes the current variable and fragmented service and makes recommendations for a cohesive multi-disciplinary approach to the provision of low vision services. In particular it recommends the establishment of local low vision service committees, involving the skills of the many professionals who contribute to low vision service provision.