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​Vision Express Rolls out the Vision Van

News   •   Sep 17, 2014 11:17 BST

Vision Express has launched the ‘Vision Van’; a mobile initiative aimed at cementing the company’s commitment to tackling the nation’s eye health, to coincide with National Eye Health Week. This is the second phase of a health campaign launched earlier this year by the optical retailer called Vision. Taken Seriously.

Kicking off at Westfield White City on the 19th September, Vision Express will be taking to the UK streets, (between the 19th and 25th September 2014),in a large mobile unit equipped with the very latest eye testing technology, offering free eye examinations to residents in areas identified as being at greatest risk of avoidable sight loss. A series of eye health maps commissioned by Vision Express and National Eye Health Week reveal poor lifestyles and low uptake of regular sight tests make areas of London (including White City), Liverpool, Newcastle and Gateshead, Birmingham and Norwich ‘hotspots’ for poor eye health.

At each location, the public will be invited to have a comprehensive 30-minute eye examination, inclusive of an eye health screening, which uses Optical Coherence Tomography, carried out by an expert optometrist from Vision Express.

National Eye Health Week takes place from 22nd to 28th September 2014, where Vision Express joins eye care charities, organisations and health agencies to communicate the importance of eye health under the banner, ‘Vision Matters’. It encourages people from every walk of life to take better care of their eyes and have regular sight tests.

Launched in the UK on the 22nd February 2014, Vision. Taken Seriously is a hard-hitting health campaign underpinned by research signalling a worsening outlook for the country’s eye health. The first stage of the campaign was to drive awareness of this issue, whilst the second phase, ‘Vision Van’ proactively engages the public – testimony to the optical retailer’s mission to take responsibility for the health of the nation’s eyes.

Vision Express CEO, Jonathan Lawson, comments: “Our initial TV advertising campaign was well-received by the public, with a visible increase in eye tests. This next phase ensures that we are further educating the public surrounding the different causes of poor eye health. By taking the Vision Van out to these cities we can continue our mission and ensure that we are addressing vision care with the upmost severity required.”

Did you know?

31% of UK adults haven’t had an eye test in the past 2 years[1]

Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss and forecasters predict a further half a million could lose their sight by 2020[2]

Research shows that 37% put off having an eye test due to cost concern, despite more than 30 million people in the UK qualifying for free eye tests paid for by the NHS.[3]

Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are the biggest causes of preventable sight loss, yet 31% of people are unaware that glaucoma is genetic[4]

Regional Statistics*

London – Westfield White City falls within the Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, which ranks seventh in the country for low uptake of free NHS eye tests. The area also tops the league for high incidence of retinopathy

Liverpool ranks in the top five places in the UK at greatest risk of avoidable sight loss

North East and Tyneside are home to the largest percentage of stroke survivors in the UK. Many people who suffer from stroke are unaware that regular eye tests can be crucial to help manage stroke, and can help detect risk of stroke

Birmingham ranked within the top 10 for heaviest smokers in the UK, with smoking a key risk factor for sight loss

North Norfolk is the top UK hotspot for prevalence of cataracts, glaucoma and AMD, based on the highest percentage of sufferers per 100,000 population

*(Source: Vision Matters Eye Health Mapping Research, Experian, 2013)

[1]YouGov Survey from February 2012, based on the answers from 2,102 people http://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/02/23/losing-sight-eye-exams/

[2] UK Vision Strategy, Vision 2020 UK - RNIB

[3] 2008: State of the Nations Eyes Report – The Eyecare Trust

[4] 2012: College of Optometry; Quant Research; Britain’s Eye Health in Focus 2013