Certificates of Visual Impairments could help those with sight loss to access support.
RNIB Cymru has warned that new statistics on eye care indicate that more needs to be done to ensure patients are offered certification of visual impairment.
Statistics out today (Wednesday 21 June) show that the number of people newly certified with impaired vision in Wales has decreased over the last three years.
RNIB Cymru has warned that these statistics should not be used as an indicator that the number of people with sight loss is on the decline. Research from RNIB has shown that the number of people is set to double over the next 25 years as the ageing population increases.
RNIB Cymru Director Ceri Jackson said: “The statistics released show that there has been a decline in the number of people certified with sight impairment.
“While it is encouraging that this data is being captured - we need to be very careful using these statistics. The number of those certified as visually impaired does not correlate to the numbers of those with sight loss across the country. There are over 100,000 people with sight loss in Wales and only 15,900 registered as having a sight impairment.
“RNIB has consistently produced research which shows that the number of people living with sight loss is increasing. I remain very concerned about the number of delayed and cancelled appointments in ophthalmology and people losing their sight as a result.
“More needs to be done to ensure clinicians and patients understand the benefits of certification. Registering can ensure that people have access to the services and benefits that they are entitled to. Obtaining a CVI is the first step in the registration process.
“It is great that we have more information being monitored for ophthalmic patients but Welsh Government will need to work to improve the take up of eye tests, particularly for people at risk, and to make sure timely appointments stop people losing their sight.”
1. Welsh Government eye care statistics: http://bit.ly/28JwmJZ