NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF THE UK
BRANCH SECRETARIES – BSEC-02-22
From: Andrew Hodgson
To: Branch Secretaries
Central Branch Members
Date: 16th March 2022
Subject: Support for Sight Loss: Specimen letter for MP’s
Please find below a letter, which you can customize and send to your MP publicizing this important campaign.
There have been two White Papers in recent months covering adult social care and the implementation of the Health and Social Care Bill, neither of which recognized our needs for habilitation and rehabilitation nor went any way to address the importance of the rehabilitation profession. Our Campaign guide has previously been circulated and our responses to these two inadequate White Papers appear on our website, so please read further for information, and do your utmost to raise awareness of this important campaign with your constituency MP.
Support for Sight Loss
We would like to alert you to this important campaign which NFBUK (National Federation of the Blind of the UK) launched in 2020 following research which showed that provision of rehabilitation and Habilitation services for blind, deafblind and partially sighted people at local authority level are woefully inadequate. Our Campaign Guide ‘Support for Sight Loss’ Sets out that these services have always been a postcode lottery since the passing of the Blind Persons’ Act in 1920. In recent years, with considerable cuts to local authority funding, the situation has markedly deteriorated.
The recent White Paper on adult social care was a golden opportunity for the Government to redress this balance. Instead of which there was no direct reference to the needs of vision impaired people in the text and seemingly from organisations cited as contributing to the Paper hardly any research carried out into our needs.
Similarly, the White Paper on the implementation of the Health and Social Care Bill hardly gave any recognition to the distinctive needs of vision impaired people and no acknowledgement of the importance of the specialist rehabilitation services which are vital to our community. People who have recently experienced sight loss need to acquire the skills to make them independent in the home environment and the mobility skills which allow them to get out and about to fulfil independent lives. To deny them the opportunity to achieve a minimum of independence is to condemn them to a second-class existence of dependence which can lead to frustration and depression and which will mean that in the long run they will use up more Government resources and be more of a burden to the care industry. .
We would welcome your support to ensure that the needs of vision impaired people are given a higher profile for the future.
Links to our Campaign Guide and to our response to the White Papers Cp 560 published DECEMBER 2021 and CP 573 published February 2022 can be found on our website https://www.nfbuk.org/campaign/support-for-sight-loss/
We very much hope that you will give this matter high priority.