The Crisis at Christmas appeal saw more people than ever attending the dedicated Vision Care for Homeless People clinics which operated throughout the festive season, providing 300-plus pairs of glasses for the dispossessed.
The charity was well supported with equipment from Keeler, a Cirrus HD OCT loaned from Zeiss, mobile kits from The Outside Clinic, glazing by Essilor, ready readers from Dibble Optical and a donation for £1,500 in lieu of Christmas cards from The Birmingham Optical Group.
Scarborough-based ophthalmologist, Mr Jan Van Der Hoek was on hand for three days at the London-based clinics to follow-up immediately on any findings which the optometrists thought needed further investigation.
“The level of support that we received this year has been tremendous – to be able to put the OCT into practice was beyond our expectations and we picked up some interesting pathology. We had a few referrals straight to Moorfields and the Western Eye Hospital including an ocular hypertensive and a retinal tear. It was very worthwhile and really raised awareness of having regular/ routine eye tests among the guests. The OCT really helped this diagnosis of drusen and retinal changes and again increased awareness of having regular checks,” said clinic co-ordinator Shaneela Chana.