Wales Council of the Blind

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Benchmarking Guidelines.

Visual Impairment Good Practice Guide No. 3: Rehabilitation.

January 2006.

This is one of a series of guides produced by the Project Team, as part of the study led by the Improvement and Governance team of the Welsh Local Government Association.

The guides are:

Further information from the Association at:
Local Government House, Drake Walk, Cardiff, CF10 4LG
Tel: 029 2046 8600.


ADSS, LEAs, WCB, LHBs, RNIB Cymru, WAG, SSIW, NHS Health Trusts, Local voluntary organisations.


  • Ensuring service delivery plans are monitored and reviewed regularly;

  • Supervision, training and development of rehabilitation workers;

  • Staff ratios.


All users who have undergone a specialist visual impairment (VI) assessment are provided with a Rehabilitation Plan specifying nature and levels of care.

All staff involved in planning and delivering rehab have appropriate qualifications and receive ongoing professional development.


  • Rehabilitation planning;

  • Intervention, review and evaluation;

  • Developmental role;

  • Training and development;

  • Service and Staffing Structure.


There are currently no national targets or guidance on performance. Important attention has been drawn to the service in the document ‘Progress in Sight’ (ADSS, RNIB and Guide Dogs, October 2003).


Percentage of adults registered as blind or partially sighted who have received VI rehabilitation from a specialist worker within the past year.

Percentage of people who have undergone specialist assessment who have a written Service Delivery Plan.

Key Activity Minimum Standard Good Practice Better Practice
1. Rehabilitation Planning. Rehabilitation Plan is drawn up by rehab worker on the basis of needs identified in rehab assessment – includes priorities. Copy of Rehabilitation Plan made available to service user in accessible format. Copy of Rehabilitation Plan made available to service user in accessible and preferred format/s upon request.
  Rehabilitation Plan is in written form and agreed with service user and carer/s. Rehabilitation Plan is available in accessible format. Rehabilitation Plan available in accessible and preferred format/s upon request.
  Partners1 are involved in the preparation of Rehabilitation Plan.    
  Relevant information from the Rehabilitation Plan is made available to partner providers.    
  Rehabilitation Plan clearly identifies providers for each element.    
2. Intervention, Review and Evaluation. Intervention follows the form stipulated in the Rehabilitation Plan.    
  Rehab workers proactively monitor, support and coordinate activities of others in carrying out their elements of the Rehabilitation Plan while it is active. Rehab workers continue to proactively monitor support and coordinate activities of others in carrying out their elements of the plan after Social Care elements of the rehab programme are complete.  
  Rehab worker regularly reviews progress of the Rehabilitation Plan against set aims, objectives and outcomes, at stipulated intervals. Necessary adjustments are made in the light of any changing needs of the service user. Rehabilitation Plan renegotiated with service user and other providers when necessary. All unmet needs identified through review of Rehabilitation Plan actioned within set timescales.
  Implementation of the Rehabilitation Plan is evaluated once it is complete. Overall impact of the Rehabilitation Plan is evaluated against set aims, objectives and outcomes once it is completed. Overall impact of the plan is evaluated against set aims, objectives and outcomes once it is completed, in full consultation with the service user.
  Following completion of the Plan, service users are provided with the name and number of first point of contact, in preferred format/s, for future enquiries.    
3. Developmental Role. Rehab worker develops knowledge of, and maintains ongoing contact with, other council departments, and partner agencies that support people with visual impairment in the area. Rehab worker regularly attends inter-sector meetings with other relevant council staff and partner agencies, to discuss needs and trends in demand, appropriate service response etc.  
  Rehab worker promotes service with the above.    
4. Training and Development. Staff providing VI services have relevant post-qualification training and are committed to training towards this as part of their job. All rehab workers have access to a minimum of 5 days training per annum.  
  Higher Education Diploma (or preceding equivalent) is recognised as the minimum qualification for a rehab worker, and relevant staff are supported in attaining this.    
  Rehab workers are provided with appropriate in-house training in relevant areas. Training includes as a minimum updates on legislation, policy and best practice. Development programme for all rehab workers includes shadowing experienced local workers. Advanced training modules are available in appropriate and accessible formats to facilitate updating of knowledge and lead to enhanced qualifications.
  All rehab workers have access to peer group contact for coaching/ mentoring purposes. Regular specialist supervision is provided for all rehab workers by appropriately qualified professional  
  All non-qualified workers with VI clients (for example first point of contact staff in council reception points) receive basic VI awareness training.    
5. Service and Staffing Structure. Rehab service comprises as a minimum:
  • 1 rehab officer;
  • 1 rehab assistant;
  • 1 specialist social worker.
  Rehab service is provided directly to children and young people through education service.
  Minimum of 1 FTE rehab worker is in post per 70,000 of the population. Minimum of 1 FTE rehab worker is in post per 50,000 of the population.  

1. Partners will include Local Health Board (LHB), NHS Trust and voluntary sector providers