26 Sep 2018

Two potentially sight-saving referrals as Vision Van takes to the road during National Lorry Week

Two potentially sight-saving referrals as Vision Van takes to the road during National Lorry Week: One of the Vision Van stops was at Pentalver in Cannock.

Statistics reveal neglect for eye health with more than three quarters of visitors overdue an eye test

 A UK-wide tour by national optician Vision Express, starting in Cheshire and ending in Leicester during National Lorry Week (15-21 September), revealed a worrying neglect for eye health: more than three quarters (78%) of visitors to its Vision Van were overdue an eye test, with two needing to seek urgent medical attention.

Led by the Road Haulage Association, which is a partner of Vision Express, the annual awareness campaign, now in its fourth year, encourages the UK to #LoveTheLorry.

Targeting events, businesses and locations with a high concentration of motorists and professional drivers, in the face of findings which show up to 3,000 road casualties per year are due to poor driver vision, Vision Express’ tour began on Saturday 15th September at Truckfest Knutsford – Europe’s largest trucking event.

It then journeyed down the country stopping off at Pentalver Ltd in Cannock, United Biscuits in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Fred Sherwood Group’s truck stop in Loughborough. Its tour finished on Friday 21st September at Samworth Brothers in Leicester.

Free eye tests were offered on board the Vision Van, with nearly two thirds (62%) of visitors needing a new prescription. The consequences for two people however, could be life-changing, with sight checks detecting potentially harmful underlying conditions.

Headaches, blurred and double vision and the nagging worry that she was overdue an eye test, encouraged 35-year-old Heather Adamson to pay the Van a visit. The customer services team member from Swadlincote in Derbyshire was pleased to see eye tests were available at her workplace of Pentalver and after her test, was advised that this early detection of papilledema – the swelling of the optic nerve - could prevent her from losing her sight.

“I am very glad that I took the time to board the Vision Van, as the optometrist was concerned that there was a problem with my optic nerve. I have been advised to have this checked with a medical professional as a matter of urgency, and I will definitely make sure I keep up with regular eye testing in the future”, Heather said.  

Helen Harris, a consumer services lead coordinator at United Biscuits hopped on the Van after noticing the vision in her left eye was quite blurred. After her test, eye health expert Tasneema Yasmin explained that Helen could have early signs of macular degeneration and to seek a second opinion.

“When I saw the Vision Van at work I thought it was the perfect opportunity to be seen”, Helen, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch said. “I’ve been advised to monitor my sight and if straight lines go blurry then to go and see an optician straightaway.”

Tasneema added: “Photos we took showed possible signs of wear and tear in Helen’s left eye and on closer inspection, a loss of pigmentation – as she had no symptoms, we explained it is worth double checking just in case they are early signs of macular degeneration.”

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson said: “Our National Lorry Week tour revealed some extremely worrying figures – with 78% of our Van visitors being overdue an eye test. Helen and Heather’s cases prove how important regular sight checks are – and how vision conditions could affect anyone at any stage of life. We’re glad we can help them both on the road to recovery and treatment – as early detection is essential in preventing sight loss.”

Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, concluded: “For most people, driving plays a vital part in their daily life and while good eyesight is vital for any road user, for a HGV driver, their livelihood depends on it. As soon as a driver gets in the cab, they’re at work. Everyone needs to do their bit to make our roads safer and we are pleased that by working with Vision Express, we can play a part in making a difference.”

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Contact information

Claire Stuart

Senior PR Manager


0115 988 2138

About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.

With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital
  • Brake