Care and support for blind and partially sighted people has seen greater cuts in Northamptonshire than most areas of the country, a charity has claimed.
The RNIB has launched a report calling for better care for blind and partially sighted people.
They say regional statistics “show worrying results for Northamptonshire County Council”, which has seen a 65 per cent drop in support given to people with sight problems since 2005 - placing it 20th in a table of the worst performing local authorities in England.
Northamptonshire is estimated to have 19,000 people living with sight loss, however just one rehabilitation officer is in post.
RNIB’s chief executive, Lesley-Anne Alexander CBE said: “Shockingly people living with sight loss are increasingly losing out whether it is specialist support, rehabilitation or even help with basic activities, such as learning how to cook a meal or going outdoors safely. If you are blind or partially sighted and you have care needs, the prospects of getting council care and support are fast diminishing.
“Being left alone to cope with sight loss is wholly unacceptable. No matter how tight the budgets of Government are, this is essential support which must be provided. The Government needs to act now.”
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said the authority worked closely with charities such as the RNIB, but admitted the authority was facing funding pressures.
He said: “We are facing a reality where financial pressures have forced us to make savings across all of our services and difficult decisions are being made.
“But we do recognise the value of the work carried out by voluntary and community organisations within the county and have changed the way we fund this sector.
“We had previously allocated grant aid to organisations following an application process, however we have moved towards a commissioning process where contracts are awarded rather than funding ‘pots’ being made available.
“This will help to ensure we achieve the best outcomes with the money that is available.
“We also work with groups and charities to identify where alternative funding streams can be found.”