All too often, the people that most need eye care are those often missed out when it comes to regular assessment.

Children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely than the average to have a serious sight problem. SeeAbility has found that thousands of children with disabilities across the country are missing out on the eye care they need. ‘Over four in 10 pupils we have seen had no history of eye tests or eye care, and yet half of the children have a problem with their eyes or vision, and at least a third need glasses,’ is its worrying claim.

With such stark figures in mind, many of us have been keen to see the roll out of the Special Schools Eye Care Service, an NHS funded eye care delivery scheme, which suitably experienced and enthusiastic practitioners can join and contribute to the regular provision of eye care to children who otherwise might not access such care.

I have heard a few grumblings of late about the scheme, however. The initial plan was to offer eye care to the 120,000 learning disabled children in special schools. What is increasingly appearing to be the plan, however, is that funds are to made available to offer eye care to those children with learning difficulties in residential care. As this represents just around 3,000 children, is this another case of funding restriction disguised as something more? I hope we will see clarification of this soon.

On a different matter, I had to get an urgent GP appointment for my mom recently. Throughout the day, I was told that the call service had ‘reached its maximum,’ and was told to keep trying. I called at exactly 8.00am (opening time) the following day and just made it into the queue. Conclusion; getting a GP appointment is exactly the same as getting a Glastonbury ticket!