Visual Impairment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support the provision of an adequate number of appropriately trained people as guides for the blind; and whether he has held discussions with the RNIB on the training of such guides.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Under the Care Act 2014, where an adult or carer appears to have care and support needs, the local authority must carry out an assessment, and meet any eligible needs. This includes those arising from sight impairment or blindness.

The Department maintains the Certificate of Vision Impairment form, which is used by consultant ophthalmologists to certify an individual as sight impaired or severely sight impaired (blind). With permission, the form is shared with the patient’s local authority, who work with the person to assess what help and advice they need.

The Department continues to support training and skills development for care workers, this year investing £12 million in the Workforce Development Fund for training to develop the social care workforce, and working with its delivery partner, Skills for Care, to provide a range of resources for providers to help attract, train and retain staff.

The Department has not had any recent discussions with the Royal National Institute of Blind People regarding training people as guides for the blind.

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