Blind Veterans UK welcomes updated Certificate of Vision Impairment form and Explanatory Notes in England

17 August 2017 10:00

From today, a new Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) form and accompanying Explanatory Notes for ophthalmologists will be launched on the Department of Health website.

Photo of blind veteran Graham Richards and a woman standing with Damian Hinds in front of a Blind Veterans UK banner

The CVI form is issued to patients assessed by a consultant ophthalmologist as being vision-impaired. The form is then sent to social services who work with the person to assess what help and advice they need. The form also records data for research into the causes and the effects of vision impairment.

Certification can be seen as an opportunity for patients to access support and services. The aim of the new CVI process is to ensure that people who are newly certified as sight-impaired or severely sight-impaired receive the support they need as soon as possible.

Blind Veterans UK knows that almost one quarter (24 per cent) of our veterans go six years or more before receiving our life-changing services and support. Since 2014 we have been supporting changes to the CVI form to help vision-impaired veterans be signposted to the charity as soon as possible. We spoke to MPs and representatives from the Department of Health about this at our 2014 parliamentary event, and have been involved in a working group with other charities, led by the RNIB. 

We are delighted that the updated form will now provide better information to patients about sources of support, including Blind Veterans UK. The CVI Explanatory notes also advise consultant ophthalmologists to ask their patients if they have ever served in the Armed Forces, and if so, to signpost them to our charity.

The CVI form also refers people to “Sight Loss: What we needed to know”, for further information, advice and support. Blind Veterans UK and our beneficiaries helped develop this guide, along with our partners across the sector and other people affected by sight loss. It contains lots of useful information including a list of other charities who may be able to help you. Download a copy of the pdf here. 

For more information about the CVI form and updated guidelines please go to: