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Low-Vision and Blind Inpatient Management Experience Based Co-Design Project


The project will use experienced based co-design methodology to:

  • Collect information from people who are blind or have low vision to surrounding their experiences during their hospital stay,
  • Identify the experience of staff who care for these patients
  • Develop and implement solutions


People who are blind or have low vision will have a good experience in the inpatient environment, and will be provided with effective care that addresses their needs arising from their visual impairment.


The project was initiated in response to anecdotal evidence that patients with low vision or who are blind receive variation in care when they are in hospital and feedback from staff that they are unsure how this patient cohort would be best cared for in relation to their visual impairment.


The Ophthalmology Network has collaborated with Bankstown-Lidcombe and Fairfield Hospitals, and Vision Australia.

Key Activities

Gather Phase

The experience data will be gathered through:

  • Two focus groups run by Vision Australia, a peak advocacy group, with their members (members of the public) to describe their experience when they have been in hospital.
  • A maximum of nine interviews will be conducted including two – three interviews with each of the following groups: (i) People who are blind or have low vision, mostly with members of the Steering and review group; (ii) Support persons of people who are blind or have low vision (Note inclusion of any current patient or support person at Bankstown-Lidcombe is possible pending feedback from this review; (iii) Staff at Bankstown-Lidcombe or involved in an ACI network by Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital / ACI staff.

Semi structured questions will include information regarding their vision (extent of vision loss, new or long standing), what went well or not so well when they were admitted, during their stay and discharge and encounters with hospital staff, in relation to their vision; for staff the questions will focus on their experience looking after people who are blind or have low vision for their entire stay.

Understand Phase

Using transcripts of recorded interviews and focus groups the steering and review committee will develop a journey map that describes the whole experience from all angles and identify the good and bad ‘touch points’ or key issues and associated emotions.

January 2019 - This project is currently at the Understand Phase.

Improve Phase

The steering and review committees will identify the priority touch points and design strategies that should improve the experience of people who are blind or have low vision. The solutions are then implemented, tested and refined. The strategies are not yet known but may include information sheets in large print, braille signs, coloured cutlery, training / education for staff etc). Staff on participating wards at Bankstown-Lidcombe and Fairfield Hospitals will be involved in the implementation of strategies as appropriate. Methods to evaluate the success of each strategy need to be co-designed to match the solution. These could involve a staff survey, assessing satisfaction with each strategy from patients, support people and staff on participating wards at Bankstown-Lidcombe and Fairfield Hospitals.


Measure Phase

The outcomes of the project will be evaluated and ACI will conduct a separate project evaluating the EBCD methodology.