Good Hope, Heartlands, and Solihull Eye Clinics


David Kinshuck


How to use this leaflet & web page

This page first tells you about the services available to Good Hope patients, and similar services are usually available wherever you live. The Good Hope low vision service is designed to help you start to cope or cope even better with poor sight, check you are making the most of the sight you have, and to inform you of all the agencies that can help you. There are other pages on this site designed to advise you regarding magnification and reading aids, but you really need expert advice sitting with a professional.

If your sight deteriorates you are forced to take on a different life, which is even more challenging, and many of these agencies are there to help you make this change more easily and enjoy your new life

Who should have a Low Vision appointment?

This service is for patients attending Good Hope Hospital Eye Clinic with poor sight, and is aimed at helping people read and cope with deteriorating sight. That is anyone who despiter new spectacles is not able to see well enough to do the things they would like (or need to do!). This should include anyone who

  • cannot read properly
  • says their glasses are still not correct
  • cannot drive their car or read n10
  • asks for a low vision test or a magnifier

You do not have to be certified or registered partly sighted or blind, there is no age limit, children and people with learning disabilities can benefit. There are no charges: devices are loaned.

There are three parts to the service

  • The assessment -this is with a low vision nurse or orthoptist.
  • The optometrist will briefly discuss the points raised in your assessment, carry out the refraction and explain the test results. The optometrist will then show and test any magnifiers.
  • The low vision therapist -this is a practical appointment and will take place on another day after the device has been supplied.
  • At Heartlands,The service based in Heartlands Hospital  Contact June 0121 424 2668. Vic Foulsham, our Rehab Worker: 0121 424 0062. Alternatively contact Focus Birmingham direct on their Helpline 0121 478 5222 open Monday to Friday.


Internet Explorer and low vision

All bowses and nearly all computer programs can enlarge text to make reading easier.


Tests for Spectacles

These are some optometrists in the area who have received special training in low vision in a local Low Vision Project.

  • Richard Ward:    Tel: 373 6897,   202 Sutton New Road, Erdington B23 6QU,   Fax no. 373 6897
  • Andrew Martin: Tel: 354 6411,  66 Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TJ,      Fax no. 354 6411



Being Registered Partly sighted or Blind

Form here

People who are experiencing problems with their sight should go to their GP who will refer them to the eye department. If your sight is poor you may be entitled to registration, according to how bad your sight is.

At the hospital an assessment will be carried out by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). With your permission they will complete a BD8 certificate of registration. If you are registered as blind or partially sighted it does not mean that you are likely to lose all of you sight -most people do retain some useful vision.

You will receive a copy of the BD8 certificate and copies will be sent to your GP, the census office and your local social services office. This information is confidential and no one will know about it without your consent. When social services receive a copy of the BD8 form they will contact you in due course. A visit wiII be offered to you to see how they can make it as easy as possible for you to keep your independence. You do not have to accept the help offered and if you refuse you can change your mind later.


Contacts & addresses, may be out of date

Radio and TV

  • In Touch Radio Programme for the Visually Impaired on BBC radio 4 (FM92.4 - 94 or LW 198) Tuesday evenings, 8.40pm
  • 50% off the TV licence fee if you are registered as blind and there is a free TV license for anybody aged 75 years old or over,
  • Contact TV licence enquires 0870- 5763763


Birmingham Social Services runs a Rehabilitation Unit for people with sight loss based at Duchess Road near Five Ways in Edgbaston. This centre provides training for people who are having practical difficulties due to their sight problem.

Training includes learning skills for daily living and communication skills such as typewriting, handwriting and Braille. People who are experiencing difficulties with moving about safely as a result of sight loss could benefit from mobility training. This can help someone to get around more confidently and increase independence.

The Duchess Road Rehabilitation Centre in Ladywood Tel: 0121 455 0045 (0121 303 1111) runs a 28 day programme on visual rehabilitation. If you think it would be helpful for you to join such a programme you would be best to contact them directly to find out how you can be referred.

Social groups, coffee mornings, Birmingham see.


Library, Books, Talking Newspapers and Magazines, may be out of date

Talking books and large print books are available at your local library as well as talking local newspapers. For house bound patients a home library service is also available (as below).


Home Library Service

  • (I am not sure this section is up to date.)
  • Talking books can be delivered to people living locally. Tel: 0121 464 1118 
  • free loan of cassette tapes, music cassettes and CD's
  • large print books on loan & library services at home (as above)
  • Library Services at Home
  • Library Services at Home is a specialist service Tel: 0121 464 1118
  • Text phone / Minicom: 0121 464 0694
  • your local library ask at 0121 303 4511


Check list to help yourself

  • Check all entrances have easy access and are kept clear of obstructions.
  • Information is available near the entrance.
  • Lighting is good.
  • Use different colours to make things stand out.
  • Check important things are highlighted using colour contrast. Steps/changes in levels/lifts stand out by using colour contrast and tactile surfaces. Pedestrian walkways are kept clear of obstructions and are made easier by colour tactiles.
  • Have signs at eye level, well lit, with lots of contrast.
  • Using large print menus with additional table lighting in restaurants helps.
  • Check steps and changes of level are well lit, and have contrasting edges and handrails.
  • Avoid bright lights that can cause glare and dazzle, and also glazed areas, especially glass doors which can be dangerous.
  • If you have glass doors use contrasting band of sticky tape to to make them more visible.
  • Avoid placing any obstructions in passageways etc wherever possible.
  • Rough surfaces and sharp edges in pedestrian areas may cause injury, as may half open doors/windows.