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Saturday / April 13.
HomeminewsVision Australia Partners with Specsavers

Vision Australia Partners with Specsavers

People with low vision are expected to benefit from a new partnership between Specsavers and Vision Australia that aims to increase access to comprehensive support services. The partnership recognises the need for streamlined referral processes to improve patient experiences.

Specsavers Optometry Director Dr Ben Ashby said the partnership came from recognising that Specsavers could further support its patients with low vision.

“As optometrists, we’re so focussed on preventing avoidable blindness and detecting eye conditions early. As a profession, we often rely on our ophthalmology colleagues to step in when… patients experience low vision or blindness.

“However, thanks to organisations like Vision Australia, patients can receive services and support to power their independence – and it doesn’t have to be as a last resort. It is simply unfair that not all relevant patients wouldn’t have the opportunity to receive the extension of care that Vision Australia offers. So, we’re doing all we can to make it easier for optometrists to refer their appropriate patients to Vision Australia when the timing is right,” Dr Ashby said.

The partnership commenced with a Victorian pilot in 10 Specsavers practices, and Vision Australia Chief Executive Officer Ron Hooton said more practices will become involved over time.

“While Vision Australia is a national provider of blindness and low vision services, we have world-class support centres in Kooyong, Ringwood, and Dandenong in Melbourne, so our first phase of the Specsavers pilot has targeted 10 practices close to those areas.

“We’ve given the 10 practices a lot of training and support to kick things off and now for the next few months, we’ll be working closely in collaboration with them to test and learn so that we can increase referral rates to align with benchmarks.”

 

ENHANCING QUALITY OF LIFE

“This partnership is poised to enhance the quality of life for countless individuals, which makes it truly exciting. At the moment, there are thousands of patients who never receive support from Vision Australia simply because they aren’t referred by their health professional and they don’t find out about our services otherwise, or believe we aren’t applicable to them,” Mr Hooton said.

“Vision Australia provides adults and children with specialist services and products so they can build and maintain their independence, connection with community, careers, educational opportunities, and confidence. Specsavers optometrists see more than four million patients across the country each year, so we’re thrilled to have an opportunity to eventually support even more people who are blind or have low vision to live active and independent lives,” he said.

Dr Ashby said in addition to the pilot, Specsavers sponsored Vision Australia for World Sight Day this year, donating AU$1 from every pair of glasses sold on the day to the charity. It is also investigating volunteering opportunities for its team members to contribute personally to the organisation, by using their paid volunteer leave.

“As our partnership takes flight, it sends a powerful message to the entire optometry field: when we work together, we can achieve remarkable advancements in patient care and wellbeing,” Dr Ashby said.