In Focus: NHS eye care for people with learning disabilities

A new NHS eye examination service was launched in south-east London last month for people with learning disabilities and people who are autistic. Emma White reports

Easy Eye Care, commissioned by the South East London Integrated Care Board, is available across the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

The service, launched on September 18, was expected to reach 20% of the capital, helping to support an estimated 9,000 people in south-east London with a learning disability and 21,000 who are autistic.

Adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems than the general population, increasing to 28 times more likely in children with learning disabilities.

These people can face significant health inequalities compared to the rest of the population and often experience poorer access to healthcare. They are less likely to receive timely eye examinations, glasses and referrals to hospital eye services for serious eye conditions.

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