Cwm Taf eye health equity report published

18 January 2012, Public Health Wales

The Public Health Wales Observatory has published a profile on eye health equity in Cwm Taf.

The purpose of the profile was to inform a community engagement project which is being developed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). The profile looked at which area in Cwm Taf could benefit from the RNIB’s project and took into account levels of deprivation and the number of older people in the area.
The profile shows that there was relatively low access to NHS funded sight tests by those in receipt of income support or job seekers allowance and the uptake of diabetic retinopathy screening was variable across the health board area.
The profile also looked at the number of people with vision impairment, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Dr Ciarán Humphreys, a Consultant in Public Health with the Public Health Wales Observatory and one of the authors of the report, said: “Where possible we looked at how the need for eye health care related to provision of services.  We found that for cataracts, the provision of services appeared to be broadly similar in relation to need as elsewhere in Wales.
“However the uptake of the Welsh Eye Care Health Examination, which is offered to people who more at risk of developing eye disease, was variable across Cwm Taf and compared with other areas in South East Wales.
“Often the information we’d really like to have on eye conditions is just not available; for example, we had very little information at all on conditions such as age-related macular degeneration.”
 “Loss of vision has a great impact on people’s lives and prevention is so important.  This profile has been discussed with the RNIB and stakeholders, so that the community engagement project could be developed.  The RNIB are going to focus on glaucoma in Treherbert, Maerdy, Ferndale and Tylorstown for their project.”