Latest News

Updated May 2019

The NHS in Shropshire is changing – your views needed 

The NHS in Shropshire is changing, and it needs your help. The Government is investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS until 2023. You can help decide how that money should be spent in your local NHS. 

Shropshire Healthwatch wants to hear your views about what your local NHS can do to help you and your community to stay well, and to make the support available better.  The Long Term Plan sets out what the NHS wants to do better, including providing better support for people with cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and for people as they get older and experience conditions such as dementia.   

Shropshire Healthwatch has two surveys on its website and is keen to capture views from as many people as possible.  The surveys can be accessed at http://healthwatchshropshire.co.uk/what-would-you-do  If you need the surveys in an alternative format, please telephone the Shropshire Healthwatch office on 01743 237884.  Within the surveys, there is an option to indicate which local authority area you live in so people living in Telford & Wrekin can also take part.

Walkers needed for Alderford Lake charity fundraiser

Organisers of an upcoming sponsored walk at Alderford Lake are appealing to local people to step up and help raise funds for two sight loss charities.

The Wem Macular Support Group has organised the walk, which takes place at the lake in Tilstock on Sunday 19 May, to raise funds for the Macular Society and Blind Veterans UK.

Walkers will need to ask sponsors to pledge £1 for each full lap they can complete of the picturesque one-mile circuit around the lake in two hours. The group is urging as many people from the local community as possible to don their walking shoes. It is also appealing for volunteers to come forward and help with organisation on the day.

Ted Davies, leader of the Wem Macular Support Group, said: “We’ve previously held similar events at Alderford Lake and they’ve proved extremely popular. But this is the first time the walk will benefit the Macular Society and Blind Veterans UK, so we’d love to see as many people taking part as possible.

 “The event is open to everyone and people can complete as many laps of the lake as they want. It’s not a race – this event aims to be fun rather than competitive, so walkers don’t have to dash around as quickly as possible. They’ve got two hours, so they can go at a pace that suits them.”

For more information about the event or the Wem Macular Support Group, please contact Ted Davies on 01939 234 387, or email teddavies123@outlook.com

National Survey

Retina UK, the national charity for people with inherited sight loss conditions, has launched a major survey to help ensure its future plans are rooted in the experiences, views and aspirations of those affected by these conditions.

The responses will help Retina UK understand people’s satisfaction and take up of information and support services and the role the charity can play in improving this.

The survey can be completed online, by post or over the phone.  Take part here or call Retina UK, on 01280 821334.

New book about Nystagmus released

A new book about Nystagmus has been released on February 21st and is available from Amazon and other online retailers.

‘Can I tell you about Nystagmus?’ is an easy to read children’s book and resource to explain Nystagmus in simple terms. Nystagmus, an involuntary eye condition, affects around 1 in 1000 people and is the most common form of eye condition amongst children.

The book has been written by Nadine Neckles, whose daughter has Nystagmus and Chromosome 18q-, a rare genetic condition

Specialist support for people diagnosed with sight loss introduced

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust, with support from Sight Loss Shropshire, have launched a new service providing emotional and practical support to people newly diagnosed with sight loss.

A new Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) will work alongside health professionals to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas. These include independent living, returning to work, benefit entitlements, emotional support, and coping at home.

Emma Chaplin has been recruited to the ECLO role at SaTH.

Rachel Setchell, RNIB ECLO Service Manager for Central England, said: “It can be an overwhelming experience being told you are going to lose your sight. That feeling is compounded if people have to deal with it alone.

“ECLOs provide much needed information, advice and guidance. We are extremely pleased to be working with our partners to bring this support and advice to patients attending Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals.”

Dr Prasad Rao, Clinical Director for Ophthalmology at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “A diagnosis of sight loss can be a traumatic experience. The appointment of an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer will make a huge difference to these patients by providing them with essential support, information and advice when they need it most.

“We are delighted that we are now able to offer this service at both the Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, thanks to our partnership with RNIB and Sight Loss Shropshire.”

To find out more information about ECLOs, please visit RNIB’s website: www.rnib.org.uk/ecloinformation.

Ophthalmology Services Survey

Shrewsbury  & Telford Hospitals Trust are engaging with patients who use, or have used, their Ophthalmology services.  To have your say, please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/1810EyeCare.  The Trust will also be carrying out face-to-face surveying in the Eye clinics, and paper copies of the survey will be available at reception in each clinic.

Donation enables SaTH to buy Ophthalmology equipment to benefit children  

A generous donation by Sight Loss Shropshire (SLS) has enabled SaTH to purchase two new retinoscopes which will benefit youngsters across the county.

Andrea Elkan and Anna Turner take a look at the new piece of equipment

Anna Turner, SLS Chairman and the next Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, joined SLS Secretary Robin Durham, to present a cheque for £1226.39 for the retinoscopes to Andrea Elkan, Paediatric Ophthalmology Consultant at SaTH.

Robin said: “We are delighted that our donation means that our local hospital’s Paediatric Eye Clinic can purchase pieces of equipment that will be of such benefit to children with sight loss, and will help hundreds of children in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin over the life-span of the equipment.”

Andrea said: “We are incredibly grateful to Sight Loss Shropshire for their very generous donation. The retinoscopes will be for use on children at both the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

“Retinoscopes are used by Opticians and Ophthalmologists within outpatients clinics at the hospitals to determine whether the patients have a problem with focusing on light accurately. If the child fails the test, they may need further intervention to improve their sight.

“Any improvements in sight are really beneficial for children and can make such a difference to their learning and daily tasks.”

Macular Video

The Macular Society has launched a short film to highlight the impact a diagnosis of macular disease can have. This is a story of a mother who struggles to watch her son grow up as she loses her sight.  You can watch the video here: https://www.macularsociety.org/macularweek

£5,000 Donation helps to buy new Ophthalmology machine

Cheque presentation to Eye Department

Andrew Evans receiving a cheque for £5000 from Robin Durham of Sight Loss Shropshire

 

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) will benefit from new state-of-the-artophthalmology equipment that will help detect eye conditions in both adults and children.  Sight Loss Shropshire has made a generous £5,000 donation towards a new visual fields machine for the Eye Department at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, run by SaTH.

Phillipa Downes, Senior Orthoptist at SaTH, said: “The Ophthalmology team has gratefully received a charitable donation from Sight Loss Shropshire towards a new visual fields machine.  This machine will allow very specific visual fields and binocular function testing for adult and paediatric patients.  SaTH had two machines that were over 50-years-old, and one of the machines had failed and could not be fixed.  The purchase of this new machine will replace the one that has failed and will mean patients will benefit from more modern and accurate equipment.”

Andrew Evans, Operational Manager at SaTH, said: “The new machine will be located within the new Eye Department and will be available for patients at the end of October 2017 when a newly refurbished Paediatric Ophthalmology facility will open.  The facility is located adjacent to the brand new department which opened to patients on 26 June this year.”

Robin Durham, Secretary for Sight Loss Shropshire, said:  “We are delighted that our donation means that the Trust can purchase a piece of equipment that will be of such benefit to both adults and children, and make a difference to the care that the Trust can offer to those with eye conditions.”

New Vision Impairment telephone drop in service in Telford & Wrekin

Telford & Wrekin Council are offering a new telephone drop-in service for visual impairment.  People who call will be able to speak to a Rehabilitation Officer for Vision Impairment to request replacement equipment, to seek advice or to discuss any issues they have relating to their visual impairment.  The service is available on Wednesdays between 10am and 2pm and the contact number is 07976 426 483.

New telephone number for Sight Loss Shropshire

The telephone number for Sight Loss Shropshire has changed – our new number is 01743 250808.

Esme’s Umbrella – supporting people with Charles Bonnet syndrome

Do you have low vision and are you experiencing visual hallucinations?  If you are, you might be suffering from a little known condition called Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Esme’s Umbrella was launched in November 2015 to raise awareness of Charles Bonnet syndrome and support people with the condition.  Their website offers a platform on which sufferers, their families and friends can exchange experiences, share coping strategies and find reassurance. The Helpline number is 0345 051 3915, and the email address is esmesumbrella@gmail.com

Support available from Severn Trent Water

If you are finding it difficult to read, or pay, your Water Bill, Severn Trent Water provides a range of free services that you may find helpful.  These include:

  • Alternative correspondence formats such as large print, braille, electronic mail, audio CD or cassette, textphone, and formats suitable for people with dyslexia or colour blindness.
  • A Nominee Scheme enabling you to authorise a friend or relative to speak to Severn Trent on your behalf about your account
  • Schemes and tariffs to assist those who are struggling to pay their water bills

If you would like more information about the support and services provided by Severn Trent Water, please contact the Sight Loss Shropshire office on 01743 250808.

 

The NHS in Shropshire is changing, and it needs your help. The Government is investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS until 2023. You can help decide how that money should be spent in your local NHS.

 

Shropshire Healthwatch wants to hear your views about what your local NHS can do to help you and your community to stay well, and to make the support available better.  The Long Term Plan sets out what the NHS wants to do better, including providing better support for people with cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and for people as they get older and experience conditions such as dementia. 

 

Shropshire Healthwatch has two surveys on its website and is keen to capture views from as many people as possible.  The surveys can be accessed at http://healthwatchshropshire.co.uk/what-would-you-do  If you need the surveys in an alternative format, please telephone the Shropshire Healthwatch office on 01743 237884.  Within the surveys, there is an option to indicate which local authority area you live in so people living in Telford & Wrekin can also take part.


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