Provides a summary of sensory care services offered to people with poor eye health and hearing loss for April 2017 to March 2019.

Key points

Sight loss

  • The National Survey for Wales for 2018-19 asked how often respondents’ had their eyes tested. 73% of adults aged 16 or over reported that they have their eyes tested at least once every two years.

Primary eye care services

  • During 2018-19, 795,188(r) General Ophthalmic Service sight tests were paid for by the NHS, a 0.6%(r) increase on the previous year.
  • 184,366 examinations were carried out under Eye Health Examinations Wales during the same year.
  • Of the 114,309 patients screened (with results reported) by the Diabetic Eye Screening Wales Service in 2017-18, 28.9% were found to have some degree of diabetic retinopathy (a small number were ungradeable).

Hospital eye services

  • There were 322,744 attendances to ophthalmology outpatient appointments in Welsh hospitals in 2017-18.
  • Health Boards received 107,448 referrals for ophthalmology in 2018-19, of which 33,357 were from GPs.

Rehabilitation

Low Vision Service
  • 9,183 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 2018, over 15,000 people were registered with a visual impairment, of whom around half were registered as severely sight impaired and half as sight impaired.
  • 1,455 people were newly certified as sight impaired in 2017-18; over 52% of these were aged 80 years or over.
Workforce
  • There were 875 practitioners carrying out sight tests paid for by the NHS at 31 December 2018, 34 more than in the previous year and a 19.2% increase since December 2008.
  • At 30 September 2018 there were 133.9 whole time equivalent ophthalmology doctors directly employed by the NHS in Wales.
Hearing
  • National Survey Wales recorded that 19% of adults reported having difficulty with their hearing in 2018-19.
  • At 31 March 2019, no patients had been waiting for a hearing aid for more than the target 14 weeks.
  • At 30 September 2018 there were 117.0 whole time equivalent otolaryngology doctors directly employed by the NHS in Wales.

(r) Revised on 27 June 2019

Reports

Sensory health: eye care and hearing statistics, April 2017 to March 2019 - Revised
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PDF
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Data

Datasets and interactive tools

Sensory health: eye care and hearing statistics, April 2017 to March 2019: Annex tables - Revised
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ODS
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Sensory health: eye care and hearing statistics, April 2017 to March 2019: dashboard
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Contact

Rhys Strafford

Tel: 0300 025 0058

Media

Tel: 0300 025 8099