Good Practice In Sight – New Guide

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Department of Health have endorsed a new guide aimed at helping Local Authorities boost their overall performance in the care of blind and partially sighted adults.

Published this month by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), ‘Good practice in sight’, is a 57-page guide and tool designed to assist Local Authorities and their Adult Social Services departments in England, to achieve best levels of service delivery for blind and partially sighted adults in their care.

Anne Bristow, Chair of the Sensory Impairment Group of the ADASS, endorses the guide in her foreword, saying: “I strongly encourage Local Authorities and Social Services Departments to use ‘Good practice in sight.’ Not only will this benefit blind and partially sighted people, it is also likely to contribute positively to the performance assessments that are an important part of accountability and quality control in social care service provision.”

In his foreword to the guide, Ivan Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of Health said: “Good practice in sight shows local authorities how a holistic, person-centred approach to the delivery of services that focuses on a defined number of key outcomes for blind and partially sighted people can help them reach their performance targets.”

RNIB will supply copies of the guide free of charge to around 1,000 key decision-makers during September.

RNIB’s Barbara McLaughlan, the guide’s author, said: “We are pleased to provide a step by step guide with analysis that advises Local Authorities how they should be performing against monitoring practices currently laid out by the CSCI, and other national standards to be introduced in April 2009.

“We focus on nine key areas of service provision with benchmarks and outcomes, and brief information on an Authority’s legal obligations. Each of the sections also contains case studies to illustrate the benefits of meeting the benchmarks to blind and partially sighted people. We believe, if implemented, this guide will help Local Authorities to support the needs of thousands of adults living with sight loss whose needs currently are not being met, while also helping Authorities meet their own performance targets.”

The 1,000 key stakeholders who will receive copies of RNIB’s ‘Good practice in sight’ include: Directors and Assistant Directors of Adult Social Services, politicians, sensory teams, low vision societies, CEOs of local societies for blind people, Chairs of local Councils’ Overview and Scrutiny Committees, rehabilitation and social workers, heads and management of visual awareness teams.

‘Good practice in sight’ provides comprehensive information on RNIB’s most recent recommendations on best practice in providing services for blind and partially sighted people. Key areas of service delivery covered include: counselling and emotional support, referrals to low vision and rehabilitation services, information, advice and advocacy to assist client decision-making, assessment of needs, availability of specialist equipment, training in the use of equipment, empowering the service user, complaints procedures and inter-agency working.

The guide echoes the UK Vision Strategy’s aim in achieving excellent support, services and independent living for blind and partially sighted clients.

Ivan Lewis in his foreword to the guide added: “Significantly, the guide is also an integral part of the UK Vision Strategy – a welcome reminder to Government of the importance of sight, the prevention of sight loss and most importantly in this context, not just adequate but excellent services for blind and partially sighted people.”

RNIB’s ‘Good practice in sight’ guide can be obtained by emailing [email protected] and will be available from October.