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A new process for the Certification of Vision Impairment in Wales (CVIW)

12 October 2016

A multi-disciplinary team, including the volunteer sector in Wales, has worked to improve the CVI process which was launched in September 2016.

When a person’s sight loss reaches certain levels they are entitled, if consenting, to be certified as severely sight impaired (SSI) or sight impaired (SI) by a Consultant Ophthalmologist. Certification should be seen as an opportunity for the patient to access support and services and not an end point. Certification of Visual Impairment (CVI) became an NHS outcome measure in Wales in 2015.

The aims of certification are:

  1. To act as a mechanism of referral to the person’s resident local authority so that their name can be added to the register for assessment and support
  2. To provide epidemiological information about the causes of sight loss in Wales: this information now feeds into the NHS outcomes framework.

It is important that the new process is embedded into hospital eye services to ensure it is successful in achieving these aims.

There are three main changes:

  1. The form has been shortened, collecting only essential information, making it easier and quicker to complete
  2. The new information leaflet, compiled by the voluntary sector in Wales, accompanies the CVI form, ensuring that everyone being offered certification is better informed about the process and what support and services are available
  3. Consent for agreement to be registered and consent to have information made available for epidemiological research have been separated. Previously, if a person did not consent to either part of the process the entire certification was abandoned leading to a loss of referral to the local authority and loss of the information that can help with service planning.

Download the new form and explanatory notes here.