LVL, RVI and CVI - new terminology
There are many different organisations throughout the county providing help and
support to visually impaired people. Recent changes in the way in which visually
impaired people are identified should make it easier to access help from the
appropriate agencies and referrals can now be made by optometrists.
The Letter of Visual Impairment or LVI has now been superseded by the Low Vision
Leaflet or LVL. The LVL can be given by optometrists to any patient they feel would
benefit from contact with the Sensory Impairment Team at Social Services. The
patient can then complete the leaflet and send it to the Sensory Impairment Team
themselves. Social services will not be providing copies of the low vision leaflets but
they are available to download here as a PDF file.
Optometrists in both community and hospital practice can also make a referral to
Social Services using an RVI (Referral of Visual Impairment). This may be useful for
patients that are either not eligible or have declined registration at the present time or
who have not seen an ophthalmologist that are struggling with day to day life due to a
The BD8 form for partial sight and blind registration will be replaced by the Certificate
of Visual Impairment which as before can only be completed by an Ophthalmologist.
The terms partial sight and blind have been changed to sight impaired and severely
Further information on the new terminology and all aspects of registration of sight
impairment can be found on the Department of Health website.
Sensory impairment team - Gloucestershire Social Services
Social Services Helpdesk: 01452 426868 Fax: 01452 427359
The Sensory Impairment Team hold a “drop-in session” once a month for people
with a visual impairment and their relatives. These are at the following times:
GRH Ophthalmology department – second Monday of the month – 1.30-4.30pm
CGH Ophthalmology department – First Thursday of the month – 1.30-4.30pm
CGH Ophthalmology department – Alternate Wednesday afternoons – 1.30-4.30pm
Please note these sessions do change sometimes, so …
………Further details can be obtained by telephoning the team on 01452 426387.
Sensory Impairment team website
Low vision clinics - hospital service
Low vision clinics are held at Cheltenham General, Gloucestershire Royal,
Cirencester and Stroud Hospitals. These clinics are run by the hospital optometry
department and provide an assessment of visual needs, offer advice on ways to cope
with sight loss and issue magnifying aids where appropriate. Most optical magnifying
aids are provided to patients on a loan basis and referral for linked services can be
made (E.g. Sensory services, social services, talking books, RNIB etc). Patients
need to be referred for an appointment in this clinic, via either their GP, Optometrist,
social services or Consultant Ophthalmologist. The clinics are on the following days*:
Cheltenham – Tuesday and Thursday afternoons
Gloucester – Monday (all day), Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning
Stroud – Alternate Wednesday afternoons
Cirencester – Thursday mornings, Monday morning (3rd wk of the month)
* Subject to cancellations and change, according to staffing.
The Hospital low vision clinics are able to repair or replace low visual aid equipment
which they supplied originally. Please telephone the Optometry Department to
explain the problem with the aid. For East/CGH patients - 08454 22 3190; For
West/GRH patients – 08454 228525). Sometimes, replacement parts or small
magnifiers can be posted, or alternatively ask patients to bring equipment to one of
the low vision clinics, see above.
GCAB - Gloucestershire County Association for the Blind
This is a local charitable organisation that provide various means of support for the
people with sight loss in the local community. Their services include a resource
centre open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, a visiting service for registered visually
impaired people, newsletters and members information groups.
For more information contact the GCAB on 01242 221170 visit the resource centre at
81 Albion Street Cheltenham GL52 2RZ or visit the GCAB website
The FORGE Centre is an independent local charity which has established a resource
centre for visually impaired people in the Forest of Dean. As well as offering advice
and support on coping with visual impairment they also offer a range of activities for
the visually impaired including craft classes and gardening club.
For more information contact the Forge Centre on 01594 827711 or visit the Forge
Forge Centre, Foxes Bridge Centre, Valley Road, Cinderford, Glos, GL14 2LJ
There are around two million people in the UK with sight problems and RNIB
(Royal National Institute of the Blind) is the leading charity offering practical
support and information to anyone with a sight problem. Our pioneering work
helps - not just with braille, Talking Books and computer training but with
imaginative and practical solutions to everyday challenges.
For further information visit the RNIB website
Helpline: 08457 669999
Updated February 2009