Eye Health (Children & Young People)

Key findings (Published July 2015)

  • Wirral has approximately 74,900 children and young people (0-19)

  • Wirral has 245 children and young people with a significant visual impairment (0-19) as known and accessing services

  • Wirral prevalence of children with visual impairment is approximately 3.3 per 1000 , which is higher than the expected 2.0 per 1,000 population

  • There are 17 Wirral children and young people (0.022%) that have both vision and hearing impairment. This is slightly fewer than expected prevalence suggests.

  • RNIB estimation is that the total number of children and young people who are blind or partially sighted (0-16) is 127 with a further 67 (aged 17 – 25) giving a total of 194, or approximately 25% lower than those currently using Wirral services

  • Almost 1 in 4 Wirral children and young people, known to VI service, are in receipt of Free School Meals

  • 35% of Wirral young people with Visual Impairment have complex needs and this is higher than the estimated 30% (Keil, 2012)

  • In Wirral, 175 of 245, or over 71%, of children and young people with vision impairment are in mainstream education

  • 70 of 245, or almost 28%, are in generic special schools

  • Total number of children and young people registered blind or partially sighted (0 – 17 years (2013/14) is between 37 and 43 with the RNIB suggested estimate being less at 32

  • At present there are no Wirral children and young people with vision impairment registered as NEET

  • According to local data an Early Years ‘Bubble’ could be developing through a percentage increase of age specific referrals. This needs further investigation as it has the potential for a variety of service impacts in the future

  • There is no current data on the prevalence of genetic eye conditions for Wirral.

  • Some children and young people are at a higher risk of vision impairment with some ethnic groups, those with learning disabilities, very premature and very low birth weight babies and those from the most economically deprived social backgrounds more at risk

  • Inequalities also exist as a consequence of maternal infections, alcohol and drug exposure and smoking

  • Figures on sight tests from the NHS Information Centre suggest that only 1 in 4 children and young people have had their eyes tested (2012/13)

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