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Eye care

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  • Release date: 21 June 2016
  • Period covered: 2015-16
  • Next update: 28 June 2017
An annual report which includes information on Eye Care Services provided in Wales together with workforce information.

Key points

Primary eye care services

  • During 2015-16, 769,380 General Ophthalmic Service sight tests were paid for by the NHS, a 2.6 per cent increase on the previous year.
  • 121,736 examinations were carried out under Eye Health Examinations Wales during the same year.
  • Of the 126,513 patients screened (with results reported) by the Diabetic Eye Screening Wales Service in 2015-16, 27.1 per cent were found to have some degree of diabetic retinopathy (a small number were ungradeable).

Hospital eye services

  • There were 322,612 attendances to ophthalmology outpatient appointments in Welsh hospitals in 2014-15.
  • Health Boards received 39,055 GP referrals for ophthalmology in 2015-16.


  • 8,049 assessments were carried out by the Low Vision Service Wales.

People newly certified and/or registered as severely sight impaired and sight impaired

  • At 31 March 2015, over 15,900 people were registered with a visual impairment, of whom around half were registered as severely sight impaired and half as sight impaired.
  • 1,243 people were newly certified as sight impaired in 2014-15; over 55 per cent of these were aged 80 years or over.


  • There were 818 practitioners carrying out sight tests paid for by the NHS at 31 December 2015, 42 more than in the previous year and a 21.5 per cent increase since December 2005.
  • At 30 September 2015 there were just over 134 whole time equivalent ophthalmology doctors directly employed by the NHS in Wales.


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