County council ‘strongly refutes’ conclusions of charity’s report

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The county council has refuted claims by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that West Sussex has seen a big drop in care and support for blind and partially sighted people.

The report claimed West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has seen an 86 per cent drop since 2005 - placing it third in the top 20 worst local authorities in England.

However the county council says this is because the raw data used did not take into consideration preventative interventions which it offers.

A spokesman for WSCC said: “West Sussex County Council has reviewed the figures within the RNIB report and strongly refutes the charity’s interpretation of the data.

“The report makes the assumption that all people who are partially sighted have this as their primary reported diagnosis or have a certificate of visual impairment.

“The raw data used does not consider the types of preventative interventions, which West Sussex County Council offers to many people with visual impairment.

“The county council has a dedicated team of rehabilitation officers for the visually impaired (ROVI) to support the needs of individuals within West Sussex who are blind or partially sighted.

“Over the past eight years there has not been a reduction in the number of ROVI’s employed by the county council nor has there been a reduction in the number of people assessed by and supported by the team.”