Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Vision Strategy

I attended an event in Avenue House yesterday with Alison Moore looking into the vision strategy (pun intended). We had some interesting discussions about health and prevention, care and peripheral vision issues. (ok i'll stop)

It was a good session, and I hope when it is finished to call it in to Health Overview and Scrutny to follow up on some of the issues raised.

We felt it was important that visual impairments were caught early, and feel that screenings should happen in schools, and teachers should be told to note when pupils ask to sit near the front so they can see the interactive whiteboards (we've moved on a bit).

It was also apparent that the care people recieve is excellent, but that the time it takes to recieve it is too long, and causes anxiety and stress for patients, as well as reducing the time left for people to have a positive mindset about combating thier visual impairment. You need to discuss in good time with patients what they can do, or else they give up on many things they do not need to. We felt this was because there were too small teams and the teams have fears about personel changes, and fears that staff who leave will not be replaced (a fear we know all to well on Barnet Council).

There were a number of concerns raised about the state of pavements, and the £200,000 bill the Council pays out to people who sue them. There were concerns about signs and lines, which is an issue because the recent desire to "declutter" is a load of old rubbish that removes useful information when not challenged properly. There were also fears expressed about the distance between bus stops and hospitals, and the accessibility by bus of local hospitals. All issues on my radar, as you will know from reading this blog. There was also dissatisfaction with Dial-a-ride, which is not new either.

The good thing is that I am working with Barnet and Camden Assembly Member Andrew Dismore on a lot of these, and have raised others on my own, so we do know about these issues. The bad thing is that nothing is being done about them by the Mayor.

Good lunch too.

I am glad that medicine has moved on from ome of the horror stories told at the meeting about access to vision healthcare. Clearly, a lot more needs to be done, especially in making sure GPs know more about non NHS services available. I am also glad that there is a proper consulation going on, and that the NHS and it's stakeholders and partners want to engage with the community and the Council, and held this event. Well done to them.

Healthcare has moved on a long way.