Specsavers Joint Group CEO Doug Perkins on stage

Report reveals the state of the nation’s eye health

A report from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Specsavers – The State of the Nation: Eye Health 2016 report – unveiled at the House of Lords today called for better public take-up of routine eye tests, earlier diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions.

Written by RNIB, supported by Specsavers and supplemented by an independent YouGov poll* of more than 10,000 UK adults, the State of the Nation: Eye Health 2016 report is the most significant and comprehensive insight into the health of the nation’s eyes in recent years.

Speaking at the launch event, Specsavers co-founder Doug Perkins (pictured above) called on the optical industry to work together to stop the needless loss of sight in Britain.

‘The message about the importance of regular eye examinations and the critical role of the optometrist came through loud and clear as we unveiled State of the Nation: Eye Health.

Working with RNIB, the NHS and the medical profession we also aim to make a difference by offering the full scope of primary eyecare in the community – easing the burden on busy hospital outpatient departments.

We live in interesting and exciting times for optometry. The volume and speed of change is unprecedented. In my 50 years as an optometrist I have certainly never known a time like it.

The time to take action to prevent sight loss and encourage better uptake of eye tests and enable treatment of minor eye conditions is now.’

‘Our mission with RNIB is to transform the nation’s eye health through a £3 million education campaign. We want to reverse these worrying eye health trends that are putting unnecessary pressure on the health service.
Prevention is critical. We don’t care where people have an eye test, we just care that they do. ‘Specsavers co-founder Doug Perkins, an optometrist of more than 50 years

The State of the Nation: Eye Health 2016


Report highlights

  • Nearly half of all cases of sight loss are preventable

  • The cost of sight loss to the UK economy is £28 billion each year

  • 14 million people in the UK do not have eye tests within the recommended two years

  • The number of people with sight loss is set to increase to more than 2.7 million by 2030, driven by an increase in the UK’s ageing demographic

  • More than six million people in the UK live with sight-threatening conditions or uncorrected refractive error

  • More than two million people are living with sight loss that has a significant impact on their daily lives

RNIB CEO Sally Harvey says: ‘An ageing population, rapidly growing demand for eye health and care services, and capacity problems in some clinics at a time of growing budget deficits, means that we are facing an extremely challenging time for eye health in the UK.

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