Post date: 
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Sight Loss Data Tool

Version Three of RNIB’s Sight Loss Data Tool is now available to use, helping health professionals and local authorities to improve and protect sight loss services.

Published in March, the online tool is an extensive excel database which allows users to access a reliable, up to date picture of sight loss in the UK.  The one-stop-data-shop compiles a huge range of information that can be used to show the vast number important facts from the number of people living with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) to the total number of eye clinic appointments. 
Emma Edwards, Data Analyst, at RNIB, said: “The Sight Loss Data Tool is the biggest collection of eye health datasets in the country. It is an excellent resource for anyone who works in the sight loss sector and is looking for facts and statistics about people living with, or at risk of, sight loss.
“One of the many things the tool can be used for is to compare data from different districts. For example, you can see if there are more people living with glaucoma in Bristol than in Cardiff, or whether people living in Staffordshire have equal access to sight loss advisor services as people in Warwickshire.” 
How the tool can be used:
Version three of the tool has been 12 months in the making and brings together hundreds of pieces of data from publically available documents. Users can compare data from across countries, local authorities, age ranges and sight loss conditions amongst many other datasets. 
Up to date 2015 population data
Projections of eye conditions until 2030
Health indicators such as smoking prevalence
Ophthalmology appointments
Eye clinic footfall 
Access to ECLOs in eye clinics
Who’s the tool for
The data tool will be beneficial to a number of public and private bodies, including local authorities, local sight loss charities, commissioners of support services, public health teams and local and national campaigning teams. The information, when used alongside expert local knowledge, can strengthen the evidence base for a variety of activities including influencing, fundraising and service development. 

Sharon Schaffer, a Development & Vision Strategy Implementation Manager, in East London, said: “The Sight Loss Data Tool has proved indispensable in the Vision Strategy local implementation programme Thomas Pocklington Trust has been running in London over the past three years. I have used it in the Vision Strategy Evidence Base documents across east London. The Evidence Base was used as the foundation of the Vision Strategy, with a cross-sector stakeholder group was drawn together to address the gaps and join up local services and provision.

“I was most recently looking to produce joined up data in each [London] borough, and indeed in each regional cluster, drawing together figures across health and social care, and this latest version has done it for me.”
Further information 
The data tool will be updated every three months to make sure users have access to the most up to date data from official statistics and RNIB collected information (such as Certifications of Vision Impairments and the location of trained sight loss advisors).
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