A new sight loss service has been opened at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. Local ROVI's" (Rehabilitation Officers for the Visually Impaired) John Wade and Lyn Steele have joined with the hospital to set up a new room in the Exmoor Unit to

A new sight loss service has been opened at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. Local "ROVI's" (Rehabilitation Officers for the Visually Impaired) John Wade and Lyn Steele have joined with the hospital to set up a new room in the Exmoor Unit to help the visually impaired in the North Devon area.John said "a lot of hard work has been put into this initiative and we are very excited that this new service has already been beneficial to patients. We are providing advice on aids and adaptation, organisations and benefits at the earliest stages of diagnosis.""People attending the clinics are also offered the opportunity to attend three meetings entitled "In touch with sight loss" which enables them to gain further knowledge of the effects of their sight loss and to introduce them to other organisations and equipment that may be able to assist them in the future."This includes Betty Burgess of the local Macular Degeneration Society who attends the second meeting and gives a personal invitation to join their association and attend group meetings. Steve Johns, Head Optometrist at the North Devon District Hospital, said: " After many years of support from the ROVI's I am personally very glad that their role has been recognised with this service and that they now have a home within the department where they can set up their equipment and show patients what is available. "I have always considered the support from John and Lyn essential in the low vision clinics and their attendance in this new clinic just builds on a special relationship we have had for some time."There is a genuine team spirit within the clinics with eagerness from all involved to learn new skills and to improve what we can offer on a weekly basis. We are still learning how best we can help individuals with Wet Macular Disease in these early days, but I am confident that we will offer a first class service to the North Devon population.