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Vision Friends training programme

Section: MembershipType: News Item Date Published: 30th August 2021
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RNIB launch a pilot programme for early intervention and prevention training to support staff working with older people.

RNIB’s Older People and Complex Needs team and Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership have worked together to plan, deliver and pilot a new early intervention and prevention model of training delivery called Vision Friends to staff within Edinburgh who support older people.

Following a successful pilot in Wales, this was the first Vision Friends (VF) programme in Scotland to be delivered and we hope to roll out further courses in the near future. The participants were from various teams across Edinburgh who provide support to older people in their own home or in sheltered housing.

Susan Shippey is the Strategic Planning and Commissioning Officer and See Hear Lead with Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership. “I have been delighted to work together with RNIB’s Older People and Complex Needs Team to train the first cohort of Vision Friends in Scotland,” Susan said. “The training was expertly delivered and organised, with great support offered to staff through the SharePoint and monthly follow up meetings.”

“Having Vision Friends working within Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership means that more people with sight loss will be recognised, supported and connected to specialist services, delivering the See Hear strategy ambition of a seamless, high quality sight loss service.”

The aim of the pilot training programme was to create a network of Vision Friends in Edinburgh and provide them with the skills and knowledge to help identify, understand and support older people living with sight loss. The learning from its evaluation, combined with the findings from the Welsh project, will inform its rollout by RNIB across the rest of the UK.

RNIB hope to deliver further Vision Friends training programmes across the UK and would be interested in hearing from any organisations who would like more information. They hope to have the training package on cpduk.co.uk (this link will take you away from our website) for any health and social care professionals to apply for access for their continuing professional development. A Train the Trainer programme is the next planned development to continue the offer to reach many more health and social care professionals.

If you wish to find out more information about Vision Friends courses, please contact RNIB Older People and Complex Needs team on 0141 739 3682 or by emailing olderpeopleandcomplexneeds@rnib.org.uk (this link will take you away from our website).

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