• 12Feb

    Accessible information and shared decision making for people with sight loss and dementia

    Estimates suggest that over 120,000 people in the UK experience co-occurring dementia and sight loss.

    The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Vision 2020 UK dementia and sight loss committee have developed a Quality Standard to help eye clinics and ophthalmology departments provide high quality care for patients with dementia.

    The format for the standard set out here broadly follows the National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) format for quality standards.

    It addresses staff training, support to participate in decisions about care, the design of clinical areas, waiting times and appointment durations, provision of information, assessment of vision and referral for support.

    The Quality Standard highlights need to provide information in appropriate, easy to read formats and language matched to the individual’s needs, and references NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard.

    With regard to accessible information, it calls on:

    • Service providers to ensure that accessible information about sight loss, treatment and support options is available to people with sight loss and dementia, their carers, and the staff who care for them.
    • Health care professionals to provide accessible information about sight loss and dementia, treatment and support options.
    • Commissioners to ensure that services make available accessible information about sight loss and dementia, treatment and support options.

    The Quality Standard specifies that people with sight lost and dementia, and their carers, should be supported and provided with the accessible information necessary to participate in decisions about care.

    With regard to shared decision making, it calls on:

    • Service providers to ensure that protocols are in place to ensure that people with sight loss and dementia are provided with support to make decisions about their care.
    • Healthcare professionals ensure that support is available for people with sight loss and dementia, and their carers, to participate in decisions about their care.
    • Commissioners to ensure that services are commissioned that make sure individuals with sight loss and dementia are supported to participate in decisions regarding their care.

    The standard contains measures to help services monitor how well they provide accessible information, and support patients and carers to be involved in decision making, including monitoring:

    • The number of people with sight loss and dementia, and their carers, who are provided support to participate in decisions about their care.
    • The number of people with sight loss and dementia receiving accessible information about their conditions, treatment and the support options.

    The full Quality Standard can be accessed on the Royal College of Ophthalmologists website here.