- Post date:
- Thursday, 17 August 2017
From 17 August 2017, eye health professionals will use a new Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) form when certifying people as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) in England.
The revamped form aims to provide councils with better information to ensure that people who are newly diagnosed are put in contact with the most relevant local sources of help.
The biggest changes are there are no longer two separate CVI forms for certifying adults and children. The new form has combined data fields and the single form will be used for all patients. Also, a copy of the CVI form can be provided to the patient in an accessible format of their choice.
Benefits of the new form include:
- a simpler format making it easier to complete,
- more information for patients about what support is available,
- improved Explanatory Notes aimed at providing more clarity about certification and diagnosis,
- opportunities to capture information about causes of sight loss to help the NHS identify trends in conditions and planning future services,
- a clear timeline detailing how quickly councils need to act after receiving a CVI form.
The form will replace outdated information such as guidance about driving from the DVLA, references to old legislation and incorrect charity helpline telephone numbers.
Eye clinic staff are encouraged to talk to patients about the form and explain the benefits of the certification and registration process. As well, eye clinic staff will have a key role in ensuring that babies, children and young people are referred promptly to the local authority’s specialist vision impairment education service. A referral should be triggered by a ‘No’ or ‘Not Known’ response to the question in Part 3 of the CVI form asking if a child/young person is known to the service.
Where can you get the new CVI form
The CVI form and Explanatory Notes documents should be opened as ‘read only’ copies, saved with a local file name and tailored with your hospital’s logo and/or the clinic contact details.
The new form will be used with immediate effect and stocks of old forms will need to be destroyed.
The form does not apply to people who already have a CVI form.
What is the CVI form?
A CVI form is given to a patient who has been assessed by an Ophthalmologist as blind or partially sighted. With a patient’s consent, the form is then passed on to their GP, local council and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Certifications Office.
The local council uses this form to ensure it meets the needs of all severely sight impaired and sight impaired people in its community. Councils have duty to keep a register of people who are partially sighted and blind.
Why should patients be registered?
- Registeration is often a positive step to help people be as independent as possible.
- Local councils will contact the patient to find out what support and advice they might need. This may include vision rehabilitation for adults or habitation for children and young people.
- Patients will be made aware of information about entitlement to a wide range of concessions including discounts on travel, TV licence and benefits.
- If registered, the patient may find it easier to prove the degree of their sight loss and eligibility for benefits.
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