The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Health is to urge NHS Highland to explore further options for future funding for a charity helping almost 3,000 blind or visually impaired adults and children in the north of Scotland.
As a result of the health board’s decision to withdraw funding and allow occupational therapists to take on the work, Sight Action has said its lifeline service will stop on 31 March 2020. The charity has also said OTs do not hold the necessary specialised qualifications to continue offering such provision, meaning services will be downgraded.
After Sight Action’s plight was raised to her by constituents, Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes wrote to Jeane Freeman to raise concerns – particularly given that the charity’s budget had not increased by a single penny in 12 years.
This week Ms Forbes received a response from the Health Secretary, who pledged to raise the matter with senior management at NHS Highland.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “I recognise the importance of Sight Action, after a number of constituents have spoken to me about it.
“I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and the new chief executive of NHS Highland.
“I am pleased that Jeane Freeman has agreed to raise this with NHS Highland to demonstrate the importance of the charity. I hope this can be resolved as quickly as possible.”