Number of adults and children certified with sight impairment and severe sight impairment in England and Wales: April 2012 - March 2013

Title: Number of adults and children certified with sight impairment and severe sight impairment in England and Wales: April 2012 - March 2013

Authors: Shaun Leamon and Malen Davies, RNIB, Publishers: RNIB and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Year of publication: 2014

Background

This research briefing presents the findings from analysis of the CVI data in England and Wales covering the period 2012 to 2013. The briefing is the fifth in a series of reports examining CVI data.  The research is part of an RNIB research grant awarded to Moorfields Eye Hospital to support the ongoing analysis of CVI data.

The Certifications Office, based at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, undertakes annual collection and analysis of epidemiological data contained on the CVI form. The work is conducted under the auspices of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

The certificate of vision impairment (CVI) was introduced in England in September 2005 and in Wales in April 2007. It is used by Consultant ophthalmologists to formally certify a person as either severely sight impaired (SSI; blind) or sight impaired (SI; partially sighted).

Key messages

Certification figures: England

During the year ending 31st March 2013, the total number of CVIs in England was 22,647. Compared with the same 12-month period in 2011 to 2012, this was a decrease of 969 (4 per cent) certificates.  The CVIs in England comprised:

  • 21,230 adult certifications, of which 9,197 (43 per cent) were certified SSI and 11,643 (55 per cent) were certified SI. 390 (2 per cent) did not specify visual status.
  • 1,280 child certifications of which 533 (42 per cent) were certified SSI and 716 (56 per cent) were certified SI. 31 (2 per cent did not specify visual status).

Certification figures: Wales

The total number of CVIs in Wales from April 2012 to March 2013 was 1,362. This was a decrease of 101 (7 per cent) certifications compared with the same period in 2011 to 2012. The CVIs in Wales comprised:

  • 1,302 adult certifications of which 602 (46 per cent) were certified SSI and 660 (51 per cent) were certified SI. 40 (3 per cent) did not specify visual status).
  • 55 child certifications of which 18 (33 per cent) were certified SSI and 32 (58 per cent) were certified SI; 5 forms (nine per cent) did not specify visual status.

Certification and age

The age profiles of certification were similar in England and Wales. Approximately 6 per cent of certifications were children and young people aged 0 to 17 years. People aged 75 years and over represented the vast majority of those certified, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all certifications.  Adults aged 18 to 64 years old accounted for approximately one-in-five certifications.

The percentages of certifications for each age group are given here:

  • 0–17 years: six per cent in England and four per cent in Wales;
  • 18–64 years: 20 per cent in England and 18 per cent in Wales;
  • 65–74 years: 10 per cent in England and 12 per cent in Wales;
  • 75 years and over: 64 per cent in England and 66 per cent in Wales.

Certification and diagnosis

Certifications in England indicated the following diagnoses:

  • The number of new CVIs due to AMD in people aged 65+ years was 9,453. This is approximately 42 per cent of certifications.
  • The number of new CVIs due to glaucoma in people aged 40+ years was 3,291. This is approximately 15 per cent of certifications.
  • The number of new CVIs due to diabetic eye disease in people aged 12+ years was 1,592. This is approximately 7 per cent of certifications.

Certifications in Wales indicated the following diagnoses:

  • The number of new CVIs due to AMD in people aged 65+ years was 642. This is approximately 47 per cent of certifications.
  • The number of new CVIs due to glaucoma in people aged 40+ years was 192. This is approximately 14 per cent of certifications.
  • The number of new CVIs due to diabetic eye disease in people aged 12+ years was 98. This is approximately 7 per cent of certifications.

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