Quality statement 6: Certificate of vision impairment

Quality statement

Adults with serious eye disorders are given a certificate of vision impairment (CVI) as soon as they are eligible.

Rationale

A CVI allows easier access to services and support for adults with serious eye disorders. Making a person aware of the benefits associated with a CVI, and giving them the choice of having a CVI as soon as they are eligible, rather than waiting for treatment to finish, allows earlier access to services and support. This can help people retain or regain their independence and improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that adults with serious eye disorders are given information about the CVI and those meeting the eligibility criteria are given a certificate.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, a service protocol.

Process

Proportion of adults with serious eye disorders that meet the eligibility criteria for a CVI who are given a CVI.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who are given a CVI.

Denominator – the number of adults with serious eye disorders that meet the eligibility criteria for a CVI.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, patient records.

Outcome

Health-related quality of life for adults with serious eye disorders.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, a questionnaire.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (NHS hospital trusts and community optometry practices) have systems in place to ensure that adults with serious eye disorders are given information about the support and services associated with certification. They ensure that adults can engage in the process as soon as they meet the eligibility criteria, including while they are having treatment. Services make sure people know about the benefits of certification, and know that they have a choice to have a CVI or not.

Healthcare professionals (optometrists, and ophthalmologists, orthoptists and nurses working in secondary care) make sure that people with serious eye disorders know about the benefits of certification and that they can have a CVI if they choose as soon as they are eligible. This includes while they are having treatment. Professionals give information about the support and services associated with certification. Ophthalmologists sign the certificate to formally certify adults with serious eye disorders as visually impaired.

Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups) ensure that providers have the capacity and resources to give information about the support and services associated with certification to adults with serious eye disorders as soon as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Adults with serious eye disorders are given a certificate of vision impairment as soon as they are eligible. This may be while they are still having treatment. They are also told about support and services, which can help them improve or regain their independence and wellbeing.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Certificate of vision impairment

See the Department of Health and Social Care's Certificate of vision impairment: explanatory notes for consultant ophthalmologists and hospital eye clinic staff in England, executive summary, sections 4, 9, 21, 29 to 34 inclusive.

Equality and diversity considerations

Healthcare professionals should adapt their communication to the needs of adults with sight difficulties so that they have the opportunity to be involved in decisions relating to certification of vision impairment. This includes being made aware of the benefits associated with having a CVI.

Physical or learning disabilities, hearing problems and difficulties with reading or speaking English, which may affect the patient's involvement in the consultation, should also be considered.

For people with additional needs related to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, information should be provided as set out in NHS England's Accessible Information Standard.