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Publication, Part of

Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People, England 2019-20

Official statistics

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Registration

The Care Act 2014 Section 77 subsection 1 states that ‘A Local Authority must establish and maintain a register of sight-impaired and severely sight-impaired adults who are ordinarily resident in its area’.

People that have a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) from an ophthalmologist choose whether to be included in their Local Authority’s register of blind or partially sighted people; registration is not automatic and so not everybody that has been certified as having vision impairment is recorded on a Local Authority register. This publication covers those who have registered, in England, as at 31st March 2020.

As at 31st March 2020, 276,690 people were recorded on the Local Authority register. This equates to five registrations per 1,000 people in England (Please see the reference tables http://digital.nhs.uk/pubs/blindpartiallysighted20 for further detail). Table 1 below shows that there is a drop of nearly 14,000 total registrations compared with the previous collection in 2017, however the mix by age has remained broadly the same.

Table 1: Number of people on the Local Authority register, for both blind and partially sighted, by age group, 2016-17 and 2019-20

Blind & Partially Sighted

as at 31 March

All ages 0-4 5-17 18-49 50-64 65-74 75 and over
2017 290,475 1,165 9,875 38,105 34,245 30,025 177,055
2020 276,690 985 9,155 37,155 35,695 29,875 163,825
number change -13,790 -180 -725 -955 1,450 -150 -13,230
% change -4.7% -15.4% -7.3% -2.5% 4.2% -0.5% -7.5%

Figures may not add due to rounding

Source: SSDA902 Collection, 2019-20, NHS Digital

When considering the split between registers, Table 2 illustrates that the number on the blind register has fallen 3.7%, and the number on the register for partially sighted has decreased by 5.7%.

Table 2: Number of people on the Local Authority registers, split by blind and partially sighted, by age group, 2016-17 and 2019-20

Blind 

as at 31 March

All ages 0-4 5-17 18-49 50-64 65-74 75 and over
2017 141,525 615 4,495 19,495 18,080 14,765 84,075
2020 136,300 520 4,010 19,120 19,110 15,160 78,375
number change -5,225 -95 -485 -370 1,035 395 -5,700
% change -3.7% -15.5% -10.8% -1.9% 5.7% 2.7% -6.8%

 

Partially Sighted

as at 31 March

All ages 0-4 5-17 18-49 50-64 65-74 75 and over
2017 148,950 555 5,380 18,610 16,165 15,260 92,980
2020 140,390 470 5,145 18,030 16,585 14,710 85,445
number change -8,560 -85 -235 -580 420 -545 -7,530
% change -5.7% -15.4% -4.4% -3.1% 2.6% -3.6% -8.1%

Source: SSDA902 Collection, 2019-20

NHS DigitalFigures may not add due to rounding

This report focuses on new registrations as some councils have told us that reductions on the register are due to data cleansing (Please see Data Quality Summary http://digital.nhs.uk/pubs/blindpartiallysighted20 for further detail). Previous reports have also highlighted that registers are not always maintained; for example, people who have moved areas, or died, may still appear on a Local Authority register.

In 2019-20, there were 20,945 new registrations overall, of which 9,435 (45.0%) were new registrations to the blind register.

Table 3: Number of new registrations for both blind and partially sighted people, by age group, per 100,000 population in England, 2019-20

 

as at 31 March

All ages 0-4 5-17 18-49 50-64 65-74 75 and over
Blind 9,435 165 230 1,040 970 1,015 6,010
Partially Sighted 11,515 150 415 1,020 1,235 1,290 7,405
Total 20,945 315 645 2,060 2,200 2,305 13,415
per 100,000 population 37 10 7 9 21 41 281
Population 56,286,961 3,299,637 8,723,931 23,219,730 10,689,947 5,576,066 4,777,650

Figures may not add due to rounding

Source: SSDA902 Collection, 2019-20, NHS Digital

Population figures

Table 3 illustrates that the number of new registrations per 100,000 population is greatest for those aged 75 and over.

If we consider changes since the data were last collected, Table 4 shows the 18-49 age band reports the greatest percentage increase to the blind register. The 0-4 age band reported a decrease in both registers, from the lowest baseline of all age categories.

Table 4: Number of people with a new registration, split by blind and partially sighted, by age group, 2016-17 and 2019-20

New Blind Registrations

as at 31 March

All ages 0-4 5-17 18-49 50-64 65-74 75 and over
2017 8,605 175 230 910 875 875 5,545
2020 9,435 165 230 1,040 970 1,015 6,010
number change 825 -10 0 130 95 145 465
% change 9.6% -4.6% -0.4% 14.5% 10.7% 16.5% 8.4%

 

New Partially Sighted Registraions

as at 31 March

All ages 0-4 5-17 18-49 50-64 65-74 75 and over
2017 12,000 215 385 1,085 1,180 1,350 7,785
2020 11,515 150 415 1,020 1,235 1,290 7,405
number change -490 -65 30 -65 50 -60 -380
% change -4.1% -30.5% 7.8% -5.8% 4.4% -4.6% -4.9%

Figures may not add due to rounding

Source: SSDA902 Collection, 2019-20, NHS Digital

As the vast majority of registrations are from people aged 75 and over, the maps showing geographical variation across England have been split to shows those aged under 75 and those aged 75 and over.

The maps illustrate that new registrations differ by location, with Yorkshire and the Humber region reporting the highest number of new registrations across both age bands (23 new registrations per 100,000 population aged below 75, and 389 new registrations per 100,000 population aged 75 and over).

Figure 1: New registrations per 100,000 population, by age band, 2019-20

Source: SSDA902 Collection, 2019-20, NHS Digital
Source: SSDA902 Collection, 2019-20, NHS Digital

Despite the small increase at England level since the last collection, 45.0% of Local Authorities did report a decrease in new registrations. At Local Authority level, the change ranged from a decrease of 40.0% to an increase of 248.9% (Please see the reference tables http://digital.nhs.uk/pubs/blindpartiallysighted20 for further detail).



Last edited: 24 February 2021 1:53 pm