Redhill's East Surrey Hospital has become the first hospital in the country to agree to use a unique “hospital passport” which focuses specifically on eye conditions.

The passport has been introduced by charity Sight for Surrey to ensure patients receive specialist targeted support when they are admitted to hospital.

The charity believes the passport is the first of its kind because its focus is vision impairment as the primary additional condition.

The passport includes an eye diagram which allows the patient to shade the area or areas where they are having the most difficulty seeing. The charity stated the passport offers detailed information about the patient and gives vital advice around vision impairment and combined sight and hearing loss.

It said the details should enable medical staff to provide the best possible support during the patient’s stay in hospital. Alyson Bunn, eye clinic liaison officer for Sight for Surrey, said: “An unfamiliar environment can be challenging for a patient with a vision impairment or combined sight and hearing loss.

“However, this document allows someone to be extremely specific in what they need from staff to maximise their hospital experience.”

East Surrey Hospital is the first in the county to formally agree the use of the passport, with Sight for Surrey's aim being to roll the passport scheme out to every other hospital in the county.

Ann Stribblehill, sister at the East Surrey Hospital Eye Clinic, who advised on aspects of the passport and contributed towards its introduction, said: “I was delighted to work with Sight for Surrey on this project. “I am confident that its use within East Surrey Hospital will enable our staff to ensure patients are as happy and comfortable as possible.

“Copies of the passport will be available in our Eye Clinic and we will have staff available to help patients shade in the part of the eye where their vision loss is.”

The passport is available to download from Sight for Surrey’s website, and hard copies are available from Sight for Surrey by calling 01372 377701.

Sight for Surrey is committed to working with blind and partially sighted people and those who have a combined sight and hearing loss in Surrey, and to provide services so they may lead fuller, more independent lives. The passport can be found at: Website: