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Eye Health (Children and 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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UK Vision Strategy (Refreshed to run to 2018)
The UK Vision Strategy aims to reduce avoidable blindness by the year 2020 and produce a unified framework for action on all issues relating to vision. It is led by RNIB, in partnership with organisations across the sector working together to deliver a plan for local adults and children. The strategy was launched in 2008 and sets out a strategic framework for improvement to the UK’s eye health and outcomes for people with sight loss. 

Wirral Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme Health Equity Audit for 2013
This is the 3rd Wirral Health Equity Audit exploring Diabetic Retinopathy Screening. The data within this report relates to January – December 2013. Health Equity Audits (HEA) focus on how fairly resources are distributed in relation to the health needs of different areas or groups. The aim is not to distribute resources equally, but to ensure they are allocated in relation to health need.

Cheshire Warrington & Wirral Eye Health Needs Assessment (February 2015)
This needs assessment was completed at the request of the Local Professional Network for Eye Health. it supplements our local Eye Health section (Adults and Children and Young People). 


Key information sources for you to consider: