Sight Concern Bedfordshire provides Low Vision Services (LVS)
Luton & Bedfordshire on behalf of Luton & Dunstable University Hospital Trust and Bedfordshire CCG
Accessing the Service
The service is free to users. Referrals are made via GP, optician or hospital ophthalmologist. Self-referral is possible for return appointments although all those attending are expected to have had a recent, (usually within six months), sight test at their optician and to attend with a record of this.
A CVI is not required to access the service and there are benefits in early referral to the LVS in order access other support services, such as emotional support, whilst treatment and diagnosis are ongoing.
A referral form is available to download here. Please complete the top half of the form as fully as possible. Any information missing can delay the subsequent appointment. Referrals can also be done by telephone see contact details below.
Location & Facilities
All appointments are held in a non-clinical environment at Sight Concern Bedfordshire’s premises located in both Luton & Bedford. The LVS appointment is conducted by LVS optometrists with a specialism in Low Vision. They are supported in this by Sight Concern Bedfordshire’s trained volunteers. The consultation rooms are adjacent to well stocked Resource areas to enable a wide range of aids to daily living to be demonstrated.
Depending upon the individual’s needs, the appointment may include discussion of the eye condition and the opportunity to ask questions about it, an assessment and exploration of the individual’s vision needs, and, if appropriate, an assessment of the types of magnification that may help to meet the individual’s particular needs. Where appropriate, a free magnifier will be made available on long term loan.
The optometrist may also explore best use of colour contrast and advise on appropriate task lighting relevant to the individual. Other areas covered may include discussing how to maintain healthy eyes and diet.
The appointment is supported throughout by Sight Concern Bedfordshire volunteers who will meet and greet, provide guiding, refreshments and opportunities to try out appropriate aids and equipment discussed in the appointment. The volunteers will also explore if there is any further support that Sight Concern Bedfordshire can offer from its wide range of services, such as exploring entitlement to benefits, practical and emotional support, IT or Social Clubs, telephone befriending, accessing regular newsletter, Talking Newspapers etc.
New referrals should typically expect an appointment time of 40 minutes, whilst return appointments are usually 20 minutes. Most clients arriving on time for their appointment should expect to be seen on time or at least within 15 minutes of their due appointment. The service operates with a DNA rate of well below 1%. The recall time is typically annual, but may be variable depending upon client’s needs.
About Sight Concern Bedfordshire
Sight Concern Bedfordshire is a registered charity and was established as a charity in1999 from an amalgamation of three local charities working with blind and partially sighted people that have together worked in Luton & Bedfordshire for over a hundred years. SCB currently has a small staff team located in Bedford and Luton supported by over 100 volunteers to provide a wide range of services to those living with sight loss.
Information on Sight Concern Bedfordshire’s services available through their website..
Generally, to be certified as severely sight impaired (blind), your sight has to fall into one of the following categories, while wearing any glasses or contact lenses that you may need:
Contacting Sight Concern Bedfordshire
We are very happy to take telephone referrals directly from any of your members instead of written referrals. Following a redesign of our low vision service we have an optometrist led service in Luton and a trained Low Vision Advisor led service in Bedford.