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Publication, Part of

Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People, England 2019-20

Official statistics

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Other sources of data available

If someone holds a CVI but chooses not to register, they can still get support from their Local Authority. Data from the latest NHS Digital Adult Social Care Activity and Finance report shows that 6,820 adults receiving Long Term Support had a Primary Support Reason (PSR) of visual impairment in 2019-20, with a further 1,975 primarily supported for dual impairment. PSR is the main reason the client is receiving support, and so this figure may not include all clients with a visual impairment supported by the Local Authority.

Furthermore, it is not possible to identify from an aggregate collection whether these clients with a PSR of visual or dual impairment are on the register, so it is important to note that these figures cannot be used, individually or summed together, to get a definitive list of visually impaired clients known to a Local Authority.

Data are released as part of the Public Health Outcomes Framework to show the number of people certified with a visual impairment. Considering the time series below, this take up rate has remained relatively consistent in recent years, however it is interesting to note that not everyone with a CVI chooses to register.

Please note: Certification data is published by Public Health England annually and has been rounded to the nearest five for consistency. The most recent data are 2018-19. Registration data is collected on a triennial basis by NHS Digital.

Source: SSDA902 Collection, NHS Digital and PHOF

In 2016/17, the latest comparable point, 87.9% of people with a CVI were registered with their Local Authority. Although still relatively high, this has dropped from 92.1% in 2013/14 when both data sets were last previously comparable.

As seen in Table 3, the number in the 75 and over age band accounts for approximately two thirds of all new registrations. The fact that not everyone chooses to register, along with the reduction in new registrations for this age band, could be linked to factors such as the benefits associated with registering which include

  • a half-price TV Licence
  • help with your Council Tax bill
  • leisure discounts
  • free public transport.

Many of these are universally available to those aged 75 and over, regardless of disability, therefore they may be of less interest to this section of the population.



Last edited: 24 February 2021 1:53 pm