Sight Loss Data Tool version 4

RNIB See Differently logo

21 January 2019
Source: RNIB

This data tool provides information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss at a local level throughout the UK.

For the Data Tool please go to: Sight Loss Data Tool Version 4

The RNIB’s Sight Loss Data Tool is the UK’s biggest collection of eye health datasets. It collates a wide range of publically available datasets and allows users to view local area data easily in one of three different automated reports.

Version 4 has brought some exciting changes to the way you can access reports. All local authorities, regions and countries now have a standalone text report available in an accessible word document that tells a tailored story about the area through key statistics. And all the data is still available in an improved excel tool, along with the custom tables which allows users to compare data for up to ten areas.

With the Sight Loss Data Tool, you can read the report for, or find the data by, local authority, region or country areas. Datasets include:

  • The estimated number of people living with severe sight loss and projected change
  • The number of people registered as blind or partially sighted by age group
  • The estimated number of people living with sight threatening eye conditions and projected change
  • The number of local ophthalmology appointments by health authority area
  • The estimated cost of sight loss
  • Demographic data

The Sight Loss Data Tool was downloaded by 4,500 unique users in 2016/17. It is a vital evidence source for a wide range of organisations in the sight loss sector and supports work in across all elements of the sector including campaigning, service improvement and fundraising.

What’s new in version 4?

The main change you’ll notice is the individual local area reports are now in an accessible Microsoft Word format. You can access these from the ‘start here’ file in the zip file or by clicking through the folders until you reach the desired report. This method bypasses Microsoft Excel which removes some of the compatibility problems experienced by users in the past. As well as being more accessible and compatible, the report has been revamped to give you the best insights into the local area.

There has also been a change to the data and tabulated reports. All the datasets are still available, but now only the custom tables report remains in the Microsoft Excel tool. The custom tables have been improved to give some context for each dataset to help you make the most of the data. The full report is now available in Word (as described above) and the benchmarking data, previously in a separate report, has been incorporated into the main report and data tables.

We have also updated some of the key datasets in Version 4. A full list of these changes can be found in section 1 of the References and Further Information document.

Why use the sight loss data tool

By providing robust evidence on sight loss and those at risk of sight loss at a local level, the data tool can support a range of activities across the public, charity and private sectors including:

  • fundraising
  • influencing
  • marketing and communications
  • service planning and development

One key activity supported via the Sight Loss Data Tool is building an evidence base for health commissioning. Each local authority is responsible for maintaining a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), which reports on the health and wellbeing needs of local people. It also looks ahead at emerging challenges and projected need in the future.

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