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CVI explanatory notes for consultant ophthalmologists

9 January 2013

The department has published information on how to register a vision impairment as a disability.

Being registered as partially sighted or blind enables that person to access a range of benefits to help them manage their condition and the impact it may have on their lives. People who are experiencing problems with their eyesight can ask their GP or optician to refer them to a consultant ophthalmologist (a doctor who specialises in treating eye conditions).

If the assessment with the consultant shows that the individual is visually impaired they will be issued with a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) form, which will be sent to their local social services. Social services are then able to work with that individual to assess what help and advice they may need.

Certificate of Vision Impairment

The CVI form is for use by the patient or representative, consultant ophthalmologist and hospital eye clinic staff. It formally certifies someone as visually impaired, and also acts as a referral for a social care assessment, if the individual is not yet known to social services. Its secondary purpose is to record data to be used by Moorfields Eye Hospital for research at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists into the underlying causes and the effects of visual impairment.

Certificate of Vision Impairment explanatory notes for consultant ophthalmologists

The explanatory notes are for ophthalmologists and hospital eye clinic staff and explain the process for managing and completing the CVI form and referral letter.

Referral letter

The referral letter is to be used by hospital eye clinic staff, with the consent of the patient, as a referral to request a social needs assessment from the local council or a designated agency. The letter is likely to be used where registration is not currently appropriate, or the patient has declined registration but he or she wishes for advice and information about social, emotional or practical difficulties arising from serious loss of vision.

All documents can be found on the Department of Health website.