Barnsley Council is working in partnership with the Local Optical Committee to encourage residents to have regular eye tests and raise awareness about eye health as part of National Eye Health Week which runs from Monday 24 September to Sunday 30 September.
According to Public Health England, Barnsley has the worst rate for preventable sight loss in the country. To tackle this, Barnsley Council will be raising awareness about the importance of eye health across the borough, and the exemptions and discounts available through the NHS, as well as sharing information on the council’s Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #EyeWeek.
Barnsley Council’s Public Health team will be joining the Royal Society for the Blind at Tesco, Wombwell Lane, at their walk-in bus on Tuesday 25 September from 10am to 3pm where residents can find more information about how to prevent sight loss and have a basic vision screening test. An eye test can pick up the first signs of an eye condition before noticing any vision changes.
Barnsley Council is supporting local services to pilot a free basic vision screening throughout September to December. Boots Pharmacy, Cheapside are among those volunteering to be part of the pilot, which aims to encourage residents to regularly check their eye health by booking an annual eye test with their local optician.
Depending on a resident’s age and circumstance, or if they suffer from a particular health condition, they could be entitled to a free eye test or help towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses. Eligibility can be found on the NHS website or by checking with an optician before booking an eye test.
Further information about eye health and preventing sight loss is also being made available throughout the week through local opticians, SKY LO Chemist, Littleworth Lane, RD Hill Chemist, Chatsworth Road, Barnsley Central, Worsbrough, Mapplewell and Staincross Libraries.
Councillor Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health said: “We want all of our residents in Barnsley to know how to look after their eyes and what exemptions they’re entitled to. It’s important to us that our residents’ eye health is the best it can be so that they can be healthier, happier and independent.”
More information about preventable sight loss can be found by visiting https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/adult-health-and-social-care/looking-after-your-health/preventable-sight-loss/. Further information will be available throughout the week at the following locations:
Saturday 22 September – Barnsley Football Club, Oakwell Stadium
Monday 24 September – Tesco, Market Lane, Penistone from 10am to 3pm
Tuesday 25 September – Tesco, Wombwell Lane, Barnsley from 10am to 3pm
Wednesday 26 September – Barnsley Central Library from 10am to 3pm
Thursday 27 September – Worsbrough Library from 10am to 3pm
Friday 28 September – Mapplewell and Staincross Library from 1.30pm to 3.30pm