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John Suchet launches new service at St Thomas' Hospital eye department

Newscaster John Suchet has opened an access technology room for visually impaired patients at St Thomas' Hospital.

John Suchet with David Halliday from RLSB
John Suchet with David Halliday from RLSB

The Royal London Society for the Blind has entered into a partnership with the eye department at St Thomas' Hospital to test 'access technology' in the low vision clinic.

Access technology allows recently diagnosed visually impaired patients to try equipment and software available to them to help access documents and computers.

"How easy it is with someone who is diagnosed as blind or with low vision to get lost between that initial diagnosis and help in the community," said John Suchet.

"This equipment will help people to know what is available.

"Thank you to the Royal London Society for the Blind for making this possible, supplying equipment and setting up the room. It's really a wonderful initiative."

The former ITV and Five newscaster performed the opening ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.

RLSB spokesperson David Halliday said: "We are delighted to be working with the trust on such an important project. Our aim is to educate and train visually impaired people and help them gain or retain employment.

"A staggering 3 in 4 visually impaired people of working age do not work, and there are nearly 120,000 people registered blind or partially sighted in London and the south east."

He added: "The RLSB's vision is a society where visual impairment is not a barrier to personal fulfilment or social inclusion. Access technology will help achieve this by opening up opportunities and choices that otherwise would not be available."

Dr Sarah Janikoun of St Thomas' eye department added: "We are very grateful to the RLSB for their support with this project. It will be an invaluable resource for our patients."

The RLSB will also provide an expert for half a day every month to demonstrate the equipment, give guidance and access to the charity's employment service and IT training programmes.

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