In response to Helen Clark's (secretary of the Mid-Derbyshire Constituency Labour Party) letter concerning the reduction of services to blind and partially sighted people, we would like to assure the Derby Telegraph readers that Sight Support Derbyshire will do everything in its power to maintain the full range of support services for our clients.
We recognise the distress Derby's visually impaired people are feeling due to the proposal to reduce the Rehabilitation Service. Rehab is a vital service that enables people to retain skills and independence when they are losing their sight. The current proposals will cut the service from two rehab workers to one, creating a significant reduction in the support offered to people with newly-diagnosed sight loss.
I have been in touch with Derby City Council for the past month regarding this matter and I'm optimistic we can engage with the council to protect a service that has a tremendous impact on the lives of our service users. We understand the financial issues affecting Derby City Council and are sympathetic, which is why we would welcome the opportunity to discuss with them how to maintain a consistent rehabilitation service of sufficient quality. As providers of the rehabilitation service for Derbyshire County Council, we are hopeful we can establish a cross-county service that ensures people newly diagnosed with sight loss are given the opportunity to live full and independent lives.
Rehab is one of the most effective services in reducing costs elsewhere. We work with newly diagnosed visually impaired people to enable them to travel safely and to live independently which significantly reduces costs to other interventionist services like the NHS or home visitors. Sight Support Derbyshire is a user-led organisation and we have a responsibility to support our members throughout the city to raise awareness of possible changes to their service provision.
Chief Executive Officer
Sight Support Derbyshire
Source: This is Derbyshire