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New eLearning course enhances skills and accessibility when assisting patients with sight loss in Nottinghamshire

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A new Online Visual Impairment Training Course will be launched in the new year to help optical and healthcare staff and professionals in Nottinghamshire develop their skills and knowledge of visual impairment. ‘Seeing Beyond the Eyes’ has been developed by award-winning social businessman Dan Williams of Visualise Training and Consultancy in partnership with My Sight Nottinghamshire thanks to funding from NHS Integrated Care System Nottingham & Nottinghamshire.

The course aims to develop ‘Sight Loss Champions’ by providing learners with the practical know-how and confidence needed to effectively assist people with sight loss. It also highlights how to refer patients for vital support in Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas.

Topics include sight loss facts and myths, eye conditions and their effects, emotional impacts, certification and registration, referrals to local Nottinghamshire support services, accessibility, assistive technologies, communication, mobility and sighted guiding.

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Having lived with sight loss from childhood, Dan fully appreciates the challenges it can present. However, thanks to his lived and professional experiences, he understands what support is needed and has designed the course accordingly.

He says, “Clinicians would often use medical jargon when talking to me rather than terms I could understand.

There are many emotional and practical challenges when living with visual impairment, so I wanted to design a course that will raise awareness, knowledge and skills.

There is often a fear of offending someone by offering assistance, but the skills gained by learners will develop the confidence to overcome this.

Healthcare professionals are generally the first point of contact in a person’s sight loss journey so have a vital role in empowering patients to access the support they need to move their lives forward.

I am delighted to work with My Sight Nottinghamshire and NHS ICS on this project to get the message out to all healthcare professionals so that no one leaves any practice/clinic/setting without support, referrals and advice. Sight loss is everyone’s business whether you’re a GP, pharmacist, optometrist or receptionist”

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The flexible course provides an ideal induction or refresher tool which can be completed online from any location and can be used for CPD evidence if applicable.

CEO at My Sight Nottinghamshire Michael Conroy stated

“We are delighted to be working with Visualise, developing this fantastic training package for Health Professionals in Nottinghamshire. We believe it will help providers improve the accessibility of their services and make a significant difference to the lives of patients struggling to adapt to their new life with sight loss.”

David Cartwright, Chair of Nottinghamshire Local Eye Health Network added “People living with sight loss often have great difficulty getting the appropriate advice and support they need to help in their everyday lives and the early intervention that will help avoid other health issues. This training will help Health Care Practitioners and others who have regular contact with people living with sight loss to gain the skills and knowledge they need to improve the lives of this significant group of people.”

To find out more about rolling out a similar project in your area, e-mail Dan Williams at daniel@visualisetrainingandconsultancy.co.uk

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