An MSP has tabled a motion for a debate in parliament to save the charity Sight Action as NHS Highland make funding cuts and re-design services for the blind and visually impaired.
It was indicated to Labour MSP Rhoda Grant at the end of last year that Sight Action’s services to almost 3,000 blind or visually impaired adults and children will no longer continue past the end of next month as NHS Highland are unable to uplift funding.
This is despite Sight Action having had no uplift in funding for the past twelve years compounded, she believes, by a 10% cut in funding in 2010-11.
This will also have a knock-on effect to service users on the Western Isles as Western Isles Council also have an agreement with Sight Action to provide specialist services.
Mrs Grant has contacted NHS Highland asking if they have done an Islands Impact Assessment in Skye where some of the service users live.
She has also asked what services will be available post March 31 and has contacted Highland Council as the statutory duty to provide these services lies with them.
Mrs Grant has now also submitted a motion for debate in the Scottish Parliament.
She said: “Firstly, my primary concern is with these 3,000 people who will be affected by this. Sight Action offers an invaluable service to these people as they provide not only physical and practical help but also emotional support.”
“I am concerned about what level of service will be available after March 31 and we need to ensure service users receive the same amount of care and support and that the health board and local authority don’t cut this to the bare bones of a service.”