Stephen recently attended a parliamentary reception in the House of Lords on eye health and sight loss hosted by The Lord Low of Dalston, CBE, on behalf of organisations supporting the UK Vision Strategy initiative. The East Ham MP took time to speak to representatives about how best to raise eye health and sight loss issues in the new parliament.
The event, sponsored by the Optical Confederation and Thomas Pocklington Trust, was created to encourage MPs to give greater priority to eye health and sight loss services, and full social inclusion for people who are blind and partially sighted.
Almost two million adults, children and young people in the UK are living with a serious sight problem - on average 3,000 people in every parliamentary constituency. Without decisive action this is set to double by 2050.
Leading organisations from the eye health and sight loss sectors presented briefings, taken from topics highlighted in the UK Vision Strategy Manifesto, to urge MPs and Peers from all parties to make a real commitment to improving eye health and sight loss services within their constituencies.
Stephen Timms MP said: "It is vital that blind and partially sighted people receive quality, timely support when they’re diagnosed with sight loss. Without the right support available, people can be left isolated, and unable to live independently.”
Nusrat Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden and recently elected Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment, commented: “I was delighted to speak at this event which helped to raise awareness of sight loss and eye health issues and highlighted that failure to invest in early detection and treatment could lead to increased spending in health, education, social care and training. I look forward to taking these issues forward in my role as Chair of the Eye Health and Visual Impairment APPG and encourage members from both Houses to join.”