Introduction

The importance of rehabilitation to local authorities (LAs) is highlighted in the recent Care Act 2014. LAs are required to promote well-being and independence before people reach a crisis point. An area of increasing need is that of vision rehabilitation (VR).

Evidence to support delivery of vision rehabilitation (VR) is limited. This research aims to provide robust evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two models of VR services in England (in-house and contracted-out).

The project comprises three work packages (WPs). In WP1, we will collect data on support needs, use of services and outcomes for 500 people with sight loss using VR services. Data will be collected at four time points, over a period of six months. This will be complemented in WP2 by qualitative interviews with service managers, front line staff and service users for in-depth exploration of how these two models work in practice. In WP3, an economic evaluation of VR services will be undertaken to compare the two models of VR services.

The findings from the research will be useful for commissioners, practitioners and managers, as well as services users and their carers to inform decisions about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of VR services.