Our Sight Care Advisors celebrate 20th Anniversary of ‘Life Changing Impact’ service at local Hospitals
Since 1998, 4Sight Vision Support Sight Care Advisors Mandy Whitman and Annie Taylor have been making a huge difference to the lives and well-being of over 9,000 visually impaired (VI) people in West Sussex, working in close partnership with the doctors and nursing staff at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
In recognition of such outstanding service, on Wednesday 24th October, Mandy and Annie will be in the running for the ‘Life Changing Impact’ Award at the Visionary Conference, Birmingham, a national event that celebrates the work of sight loss charities in the UK like 4Sight Vision Support.
Speaking about the award, Senior Sight Care Advisor Mandy said:
‘It’s very humbling to be nominated for an award like this and it really wouldn’t have been possible without the close working relationship that we have had with the ophthalmologists and nursing staff at the eye clinics over the last 20 years. Our role is to support visually impaired patients coming through the clinics after they have been treated by the doctors, and we do this by offering emotional support, and direct practical help in the way of information advice and guidance at the time when each person needs it.’
As one patient said recently:
‘It was such a relief and release to share my sadness, anger, tears and fears with someone impartial. Mandy was so kind, caring, calm, understanding and let me talk and cry at length while reassuring me about what was happening with my sight and how it may affect me. She provided me with relevant information as well as directing me to where to get additional support including my first daily living aids.’
When it started in 1998, the Sight Care Advisor service was very much a ground-breaking service – one that has now been replicated in many Eye Clinics across the country by other sight loss charities including the RNIB. And because it is there to help patients immediately after they receive a diagnosis of sight loss, it has become the benchmark for service excellence, recognised by the NHS, NICE and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists nationally as part of their drive to improve the eye health care pathway in UK hospitals.
For the hospital, working with local charities can add enormous value to services, helping to improve long-term outcomes for patients and help relieve the pressure on key hospital services, such as Ophthalmology. Chief ophthalmologist at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and at Western Sussex Eye Care | Southlands, Mr Masoud Teimory, said:
“4Sight has been a tremendous resource for our eye care teams at Western Sussex Hospitals. 4Sight advisors Annie and Mandy have been highly dedicated and are truly appreciated by the clinical staff. They offer invaluable expertise to patients with impaired vision of all ages, guiding them through the registration process as well as long term support. We are indebted to 4Sight and its highly dedicated team of sight care advisors.”
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the service, a special presentation will be made at the 4Sight Vision Support AGM on Friday 26th October at Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre.
Click here, to find out more on the work Mandy and Annie do and the Sight Care Advisor service.
For further information about Western Sussex ophthalmology services see: www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/eyecare