In focus

'Vision Van' increases eye health awareness in the UK

GrandVision’s UK retailer Vision Express reinforced its commitment to eye health, touring the country with its Vision Van – a sophisticated mobile eye testing unit – for National Eye Health Week in September. It was the third consecutive year Vision Express participated in the initiative as part of its ongoing ‘Vision Taken Seriously’ health campaign to address the worsening outlook for eye health in the UK. The September Vision Van activity followed two earlier tours in 2016 for both World Glaucoma Week and Macular Week.

An estimated 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss. A series of eye health maps reveal how poor lifestyles and low levels of regular sight testing have made multiple areas in the UK ‘hotspots’ for bad eye health. Vision Van aimed to reach some of these communities and offer free eye examinations to people that may have not seen an eye specialist over the last two years, or in some cases, never at all.

Over a five-day period, Vision Van took to the streets of Brighton, Portsmouth, Swindon, Swansea, Leicester and Leeds, which have been identified as being at greatest risk of avoidable sight loss. At each location, people were invited to have a comprehensive 30-minute eye examination and eye health screening using Optical Coherence Tomography, carried out by an expert Vision Express optometrist. For those unable to reach the Vision Van, Vision Express also made free eye tests available via an online voucher that could be downloaded and redeemed at any of its almost 400 stores across the UK.

During the five-day tour, many people visited the Vision Van. Out of those tested, 13% were referred to a GP to receive further medical attention, while over 50% needed new prescriptions. In 2016, this campaign was further supported by a national PR campaign that reached more than 35 million people and led to a strong increase in Vision Express’ website visits.

Claudia Bonsu had her eyes tested at the 'Vision Van'

Visitors receive consultation and examination at the Vision Express 'Vision Van'