The LVSW database was utilised to establish the number of LVAs dispensed by each practitioner, for each initial LVSW assessment, performed between 1 April, 2012 and 31 March, 2013.
A total of 3569 initial LVSW assessments were carried out.
Figure 1 shows the number of LVAs dispensed from initial LVSW assessments.
Figure 2 shows the type of LVAs dispensed from initial LVSW assessments.
Figure 3 illustrates the total number of LVAs and type dispensed by each LVSW practitioner over the audited 12 months.
However, there are exceptions to this, such as where practitioners may be performing higher numbers of LVSW assessments but only prescribing from a single aid category, as well as those who, despite performing fewer LVSW assessments, prescribe from the full range of categories.
With consideration of current accredited LVSW practitioners per area (see Figure 3), and the current uptake of the LVSW, areas of need with regards to increased service provision can be identified as: Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire, Conway, Anglesey, Powys, Pembrokeshire, and Neath Port Talbot.
This not only allows an accurate geographical map of the service across Wales to be developed, but has also given the LVSW an insight into some of the limitations regarding practitioner access to low vision patients.
Practitioner activity within the LVSW has not previously been formally audited.
North Wales, Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot have been identified as areas of need, and the LVSW will endeavour to accredit new practitioners in these areas, along with continued work into raising awareness of the LVSW among health professionals and the general public.
LVSW should continue to promote the service to secondary care, patients and the general public
LVSW should consider whether it is more worthwhile accrediting practitioners in practices where the low vision needs are not already met by an optometrist or in a practice where the service does not exist in preference to accrediting those who work out of a practice where a low vision service is already well established