Local authorities must keep a register of adults who are severely sight impaired and sight impaired in their local areas.
This can facilitate people with sight impairment to get access to the care and support they need. Local authorities may also maintain registers of other people with disabilities or who may need care and support now or in the future.
The draft guidance on sight registers covers:
- registration, certification and making contact with people who are sight impaired
- rehabilitation and care planning for those individuals
- the use of other registers
- who should be treated as sight-impaired or severely sight-impaired
The draft regulations state that only a consultant ophthalmologist may certify a person as sight impaired or severely sight impaired.
It has been suggested that other senior ophthalmologists (associate specialist or senior speciality doctor in ophthalmology; and senior doctors in training within six months of the Certificate of Completion of Training) should be able to give a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI), as well as consultant ophthalmologists. The intention of this would be to expedite patients being able to access the benefits of certification.
Respond to question 79 below.
Patient consent for the Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB) to have access to contact details from the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI).
People who are registered with the local authority will have received confirmation of being sight impaired or severely sight impaired through the CVI.
The NHS is required to keep the completed certificate, signed by the consultant and the patient, for their records. Currently a copy of the Certificate is also sent to the relevant local authority, the GP, the Certifications Office at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital and the patient.
We are seeking views about whether patients should be asked if they would agree to have their contact details shared with the RNIB. This will enable the RNIB to make contact with patients and direct them to the correct avenues for further advice and support quickly.
Respond to question 80 below.