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Registration for people with sight impairment: fit for purpose?
  1. B Ryan,
  2. T H Margrain
  1. School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barbara Ryan, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Maindy Road, Cardiff CF24 2LU, UK; ryanb{at}

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The registration process was established to ensure that appropriate support was provided to those who needed it, but are the current visual acuity guidelines for registration fit for purpose?

The Blind Person's Act (1920) and the National Assistance Act (1948) developed a method of identifying people who had a sight impairment and providing local authority funded rehabilitation services for them. Later, low-vision rehabilitation services were established in the Hospital Eye Service,1 and now the hospital and local authority services should work together to provide holistic support for people losing their sight.2 A report funded and published by the Thomas Pocklington Trust3 on an analysis of people using an “open-access” rehabilitation service in Wales4 suggests that the registration guidance is no longer fit for purpose. This large data set (n=5817) provides a unique insight into registration because it includes a large number of people who are not registered but who have a sight impairment and are using rehabilitation services.

Current guidance of when a …

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  • Funding The Thomas Pocklington Trust.

  • Competing interest None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Wales Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.