Tag Archives: patient safety

Trips and falls blog header

Unfortunately, trips and falls can be a common occurrence for the elderly population – in fact, falls are the most common cause of hospitalisation for over-65s in the UK, with one in three experiencing a fall every year.

The likelihood of impaired vision increases significantly with age, meaning that older people are more likely to experience trips and falls, even with carers present. 

The way we see it is fundamental to coordinating our balance and stability and how we move around. 

When vision is impaired, negotiating obstacles or stairs becomes much more challenging, impacting how safely residents can move around unaided.

Regular sight testing can play a crucial part in preventing falls by detecting and appropriately treating visual impairment instances. 

In contrast, regular visits from an optometrist can provide both patients and carers with helpful advice.

We’ve highlighted just a few ways that regular sight testing can help residents remain steady on their feet and feel confident travelling safely around their home environment.

Discovering and understanding conditions

Suppose a patient is experiencing trips and falls more often than usual or appears unsteady on their feet. In that case, they may be experiencing a sight loss condition. 

Only a sight test with an optometrist can distinguish what the case might be. Several common eye health issues can affect sight and directly contribute to falls.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) creates a gap in the central vision, while glaucoma blurs the peripheral vision, creating a ‘tunnel vision’ effect and blocking obstacles from view. 

Cataracts create an overall blurry vision, making it hard to identify where hazards might be, while a case of diabetic retinopathy can cause multiple gaps or black spots in the vision. 

A rarer condition that can also affect mobility is Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which can distort how rooms look and make it difficult for a resident to move around confidently and safely.

Any one of these common conditions could affect how a patient sees the world and how they move around, so a regular eye test can help monitor conditions and understand what possible issues a patient might be experiencing.

Helping carers adapt their care.

A regular sight test can uncover these common conditions, but that’s not all. 

Armed with the knowledge of the issues a patient might be experiencing, carers can easily understand their patient’s needs and adapt their care routines to suit.

Perhaps a patient needs more assistance travelling around the home, or help with basic tasks such as bathing or dressing, to lower the risk of falling. 

If their central vision is affected, they may struggle with specific tasks. In contrast, damage to their peripheral vision may make specific tasks more hazardous, like moving unaided around the home or taking the stairs.

Regular sight tests and advice from optometrists can ensure that carers can provide the right care and support for each patient, limiting their risks and helping them feel confident.

Prescribing appropriate spectacles

A regular sight test detects underlying conditions, monitors existing conditions, and assesses the patient’s changing needs. 

Having an up-to-date prescription and wearing the right glasses is crucial in lowering the chance of experiencing a fall.

Sight tests will determine the quality of the patient’s vision and assess any changes, allowing the optometrist to prescribe suitable spectacles, even if that means separate spectacles for different tasks. 

The optometrist can provide advice and guidance on which pair should be worn for which activities. Include this information on the patient’s Visioncall Lifestyle Passport for easy reference whenever a carer or manager needs it. 

This will allow the care team to ensure that residents are wearing the right glasses and have the correct prescription, lowering their probability of tripping or falling and helping them feel safer and more independent every day.

If you are concerned about changes in your vision and eye health or a resident or relative, please don’t hesitate to contact Visioncall for guidance.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

Protecting Patients During The Pandemic Blog

In a recent blog, we outlined our new approach to prioritising patient care due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The pandemic has changed other practices to ensure our teams’ safety and, crucially, care home residents and staff.

In the first half of 2020, when Coronavirus restrictions came into force, Visioncall published an Infection Control and Prevention policy to set out the practical steps our practitioners had to take to operate safely in residential settings.

The policy (available here) has been regularly updated with governmental and scientific advice and represents industry best practice. 

Measures that we’ve all grown used to, including hand hygiene, social distancing, disinfection and mask-wearing alongside medical-grade PPE, are all mandatory for our teams.  

Every Associate Optometrist and Dispenser working directly with patients have undergone extensive training on the policy and has been operating under its conditions without fault for almost a year.

Our team is regularly tested too. With designation as primary care staff through the NHS’s remobilisation scheme, our people comply with UK Government guidance on routine and regular testing.

Some of our partner care homes may wish for further testing on the day of a visit, which our Associates will comply with.  

Sterilisation measures – on hands, equipment and spaces we operate in – have been stepped up to minimise any disruption to day-to-day care delivery within homes and avoid creating additional workload for carers and managers.  

Our partners share our commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with managers and on-site teams to ensure that all of Visioncall’s infection prevention protocols meet the policies in place in each care setting.

Visioncall is committed to maintaining the highest levels of patient care across the UK.

To find out more or to book a visit, please visit our contact page

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Patient Care Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way all of us live our lives go about our daily business. 

At Visioncall, the way we provide our care has had to change too.

We still aim to provide the highest quality of patient care to everyone who needs it and have changed our approach to continue to do that while maintaining stringent infection control measures (find out more on those measures in this dedicated blog).  

So what are these changes, and how will they affect the care in your home?

As part of the NHS Remobilisation Scheme, Visioncall can still provide the same broad range of essential and emergency eye care services within care home settings with enhanced PPE and social distancing measures. 

Where residents, managers, nurses or carers are concerned about a patient’s eyesight, they can still call on us to drop-in to assess any urgent eye health requirement. 

Previously, we would have assessed that patient and then continued to deliver routine sight tests and consultations with all residents. However, routine visits are on hold for now due to current restrictions. 

Now, we are prioritising care for those who need our help the most – those with developments in conditions like cataracts or glaucoma, for example – to reduce any risks of transmission between patients themselves and to protect our team of optometrists and opticians.  

As always, we’ll provide care to whoever needs it. If residents display any symptoms or have complaints about they’re vision, don’t hesitate to call.

Most problems with our sight can be tackled simply if they’re caught early enough, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Visioncall is committed to maintaining the highest levels of patient care across the UK, helping individuals to see better and live better. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, we’re delivering that care while to prioritise those most in need.

To find out more or to book a visit, please visit our contact page

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

PPE image

As part of our dedication to person-centred eye care, we have always focused on doing what is right for the individual.

Whether it is taking extra time to get to know more about them during a sight test or making the suitable recommendation based on individual needs, we remain committed to helping others to see better and live better. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of daily life, and it is more important than ever for our patients to maintain a safe living environment. 

Our patients are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. 

As such, we have a duty to both them and our caring partners to provide a safe home visiting eye care service. 

With this in mind, we have placed even more focus on patient safety; it is at the heart of everything we do, and we have taken additional steps to ensure we can see individuals safely. 

What we have introduced

To start, we have implemented our new Infection Control and Prevention policy. This policy outlines how we will provide our service safely and to protect the people we assist from transmitting COVID-19. 

We have also provided mandatory staff training on our Infection Control and Prevention policy. 

Our training gives our team detailed and specific instruction on what is required of them when visiting our caring partners. 

One of the most significant changes we have made to our service is introducing the use of full PPE when seeing individuals. 

When our clinical teams visit you, they will come equipped with a full supply of PPE to ensure that we can assess individuals safely. 

Our PPE includes gloves, face shield, aprons and hand sanitizer. We also sanitize our equipment before each use to protect our patients. 

Providing an essential service

We cannot lose focus on our eye health and sight levels despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our swift action has allowed us to continue to provide an essential service safely, and we will continue to adapt to help our patients see better and live better. 

Visioncall continues to follow government and regulatory guidance across the UK. 

Are you looking for a sight test in your own home? Visioncall Home Clinic can provide free NHS sight tests at home – check service availability in your area today.