Falls are the most common cause of hospital admission for the over 65s and one in three adults aged over 65 will fall every year. For adults over age 80, this increases to one in two.


The College of Optometrists ‘Focus on Falls’ report found that only half of falls services checked vision as a core part of the service, despite NICE Clinical Guideline 161, originally published in 2013, “Falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention” recommending a multifactorial risk factor assessment including a recommendation to check for visual impairment.

VISIBLE – Vision Screening to improve balance and prevent falls; is a simple stepped approach to implement vision screening in community settings. It combines resources for opticians and wider community organisations with the aim of increasing knowledge of the link between vision, balance and falls prevention.

VISIBLE is relevant to all organisations who are in contact with older adults including:

  • Falls services
  • Physiotherapists, OTs, Social Workers, Podiatrists, Audiologists
  • Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
  • Ambulance and Fire Services
  • Social Services and Community Health
  • Acute Hospitals and Mental Health Services
  • Memory Clinics
  • Housing
  • Voluntary organisations, befrienders, handypersons, help at home services, social prescribers
  • Care Homes

In 2018, VISIBLE was introduced by teams at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Lewisham Falls service.