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Sight Loss Data Tool

This data tool provides information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss at a local level throughout the UK.

Someone holding magnifying glass over various reports with blue pie charts and bar charts.

The RNIB’s Sight Loss Data Tool is the UK’s biggest collection of eye health datasets. It collates a wide range of publicly available datasets and allows users to view local area data easily in a report or as data tables.

Version 5 reports are formatted as accessible word documents telling a tailored story about the area through key statistics. All the data is still available in the excel tool, along with the custom tables which allows users to compare data for up to ten areas.

With the Sight Loss Data Tool, you can read the report for, or find the data by local authority, health and social care planning area, region or country. Datasets include:

  • the estimated number of people living with severe sight loss and projected change
  • the number of people registered as blind or partially sighted by age group
  • the estimated number of people living with sight threatening eye conditions and projected change
  • the number of local ophthalmology appointments by health authority area
  • the estimated cost of sight loss
  • demographic data.

The Sight Loss Data Tool was downloaded by thousands of unique users in 2021. It is a vital evidence source for a wide range of organisations in the sight loss sector and supports work across all elements of the sector including campaigning, service improvement and fundraising.

What’s new in Version 5?

Version 5 is a major update to the data tool. Key new features are:

Health and social care geography

We’ve included a new tab in the Excel file and a new set of reports that cover health and social care geography. The names of these planning units vary across the UK nations, but typically they are a higher-level of geography than local authorities. Having data to match the footprint of these areas should help with engagement with decisions made at this planning level.

Eye health data pathway

Version 5 starts to add in more health and social care data relating to eye care in local areas across the UK. Integrating more health data in the SLDT reports will be a long-term objective, but Version 5 is the first step in that process.

Impact of sight loss

We’ve integrated content from our headline stats and facts report to supplement the data with more lived experience of blind and partially sighted. Just like the health data, this is something that we will continue to develop in the future.

Streamlined reports

In order to make space of the new data and insights we’ve streamlined the reports and re-structured them to make that easier to use.

Schedule of updates

This is a major update to the data tool, and despite our best efforts, we know that errors will be picked up in the coming weeks. So we expect to launch a Version 5.1 later in 2022. We hope to be able to deliver Version 6 in 2023/24.

Why use the Sight Loss Data Tool?

Our Sight Loss Data Tool supports the work of RNIB and the sight loss and eye health sectors. It is available for you to use free of charge.

By providing robust evidence on sight loss and those at risk of sight loss at a local level, the data tool can support a range of activities across the public, charity and private sectors including:

  • fundraising
  • influencing
  • marketing and communications
  • service planning and development.

One key activity supported via the Sight Loss Data Tool is building an evidence base for health and social care commissioning. This is why a core element of this update is adding in content that will be relevant to this work.

Contact us

We believe that providing good evidence at a local level is important and we plan to further develop the Sight Loss Data Tool in the future. If you have any feedback or suggestions about how we can improve this resource, please email us at [email protected].