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The pages listed in this  ‘Professional’ section have been created to provide clinical and technical information and resources for Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, GPs, Practice nurses, community pharmacists and other health and social care professionals interested in the WECS.   Examples of record cards, clinical data, service protocols and referral pathways and forms can be viewed under each service heading.

Information on training and accreditation requirements as well as contact details for each of the separate services can also be accessed here.

It is hoped that these pages will be expanded upon over time to create a full and robust information resource for all health and social care professionals and that research papers and links to current publications around the services will also be listed.


LVSW - Low Vision

Optometrists, Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners (OMPs) and Dispensing Opticians (Dos) provide the Low Vision Service Wales (LVSW). The following information is for optometrists, OMPs and DOs. It includes how to become accredited to provide the service, and getting electronic versions of the protocols, equipment and paperwork for the service.

If you are interested in providing LVSW

Practitioners wishing to provide the service have to undergo training and be accredited by the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University. To undertake the training practitioners must practice in Wales and be an optometrist or Ophthalmic Medical Practitioner registered with the General Optical Council (GOC) or dispensing optician registered with the GOC.

 Dispensing opticians who wish to provide the service are required to undergo further training with regards to pathology. This is in the form of two distance learning modules and an assessment by MCQs.

What does the training and accreditation involve?

The training is in the form of Cardiff University’s postgraduate modules OPT001 and OPT002. Those who are successful will achieve the College of Optometrists Certificate in Low vision. Detailed information of what the modules involve can be found here:

Practitioners are also required to complete safeguarding training and depression screening training. Once a practitioner is accredited they receive any equipment and paperwork required to provide the service.

How to do I apply to be accredited?

Accreditation for the service is carried out by the Wales Optometric Postgraduate Centre (WOPEC).  The clinical lead for the service, Rebecca Bartlett, can answer any questions that you may have regarding accreditation and the process of application. Queries can be directed to or


Information for other professionals wishing to refer to the LVSW

What is a low vision assessment?

In a low vision assessment, a practitioner will try to determine what a person with a visual impairment needs and wants to do. They will then assess the person's visual function which may include measurement of their Visual Acuity (distance and near), Contrast Sensitivity and Functional Visual Fields. Using this information the practitioner will determine if any low vision aids are available to help a person with low vision do the things they want.  This might include magnifiers and lights. They will also use their specialist knowledge to refer to other professionals and services which may provide additional help and support including social services; voluntary organisations; the Hospital Eye Service for registration as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired; education services or employment services.

 The appointment with the low vision practitioner usually lasts about an hour and is provided free of charge by the NHS and all the low vision aids are available on loan, and free of charge.

 Who should be referred for a low vision assessment?

Anyone entering the service should have had a sight test within the last year. Most people using the service will be entitled to an NHS sight test.

 All those with distance visual acuity of 6/12 or worse, and/ or near acuity of N6 or worse (with a plus 4 dioptre reading addition) or significantly constricted visual fields can access the service. Patients registered as SI or SSI automatically qualify for the Service. People need to be residents of Wales to be eligible to use the LVSW.

 How do I refer someone for a low vision assessment?

You can check to see who in your area is offering the LVSW.  You or the patient can then contact a suitable practice direct and an appointment should be arranged within 2 weeks.