Charity warns of six month wait for support with sight loss

A new report published by sight loss charity RNIB Cymru has found people are being left to wait for six months to access support that is critical to adjusting to life with sight loss.

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"It's shocking that in 21st century Wales people are still being left to face blindness alone".

Imagine if you lost your sight tomorrow. How would you cope? Basic tasks such as preparing food or catching a bus suddenly become much more difficult when you lose your sight.

With the number of people with sight loss expected to double in the next 25 years, there is an urgent need to ensure that people who lose their sight tomorrow, can access timely rehabilitation support and that the service will be able to cope with the significant increase in future demand.

It is shocking that in 21st century Wales people are still being left to face blindness alone".

– Ceri Jackson, Director of RNIB Cymru


Charity warns people are left to face blindness alone

The charity says people need to re-learn skills like how to get around Credit: ITV News

A new report published by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), has found people are having to wait for up to six months to access support after losing their sight.

The figures show in at least five local authorities in Wales, people are waiting over 24 weeks to access rehabilitation support.

The charity says when people first lose their sight, basic skills such as making a cup of tea, preparing a meal and being able to get around safely, all have to be re-learnt.

That support, they say, should be provided through local authority social services.

RNIB Cymru's survey also found significant variations in staffing levels for rehabilitation.

The Welsh Local Government Association recommends a ratio of one Rehabilitation Officer per 50,000 of population.

Six local authorities in Wales only employ one Rehabilitation Officer, but their populations vary from less than 70,000 to over 126,000.

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