South east London diabetic eye screening

Changes to NHS diabetic eye screening programme

Diabetic eye screening has changed for people who are at lower risk of diabetic eye disease.

If your last 2 diabetic eye screenings found no sign of diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy), you'll be offered screening every 2 years instead of every year.

This change has been recommended by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC).

Find out more about the changes to NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

We screen the eyes of people with diabetes to detect the early stages of diabetic retinopathy using special digital cameras.

Most people have no signs of diabetic retinopathy but must be seen each year to make sure it does not develop.

If we do find signs of diabetic retinopathy, we'll refer you directly to a specialist eye doctor at a local hospital.

There is a national screening programme for diabetic retinopathy. Everyone with diabetes should have their eyes screened regularly.

Our service is for people living in south east London.

Health information

What to expect at your diabetic eye screening appointment

Peter has type 2 diabetes and knows how important it is to attend his diabetes eye screening appointment. In this film Peter talks about his experience.

Peter: My name is Peter and I have type 2 diabetes.

When I receive letters from the diabetic clinic to attend for eye screening, I always go because it's very important, it can be the difference between going blind and being able to see properly.

I have some friends who are also diabetic, I worry that they don't care for themselves as much as they should do. They tend not to take their appointments as seriously as they can do and I worry that later on in life, they may struggle with the diabetes and one of the possibilities is that they can go blind.

As I'm a cricket coach, eyesight is very important. I love watching cricket, especially with the youngsters, and if I didn't have that pleasure I would be very disappointed.

When I came into the appointment I wasn't sure what to expect but it all seemed very safe and organised.

Receptionist: Good morning, are you here for diabetic eye screening?

Peter: Yes.

It was all very calm and not at all crowded.

Steve: My name's Steve and I'll be doing your appointment today, do you want to come with me?

Peter: The staff were very friendly.

Steve: You could take a seat in the green chair please.

Peter: First they tested my eyes

Steve: Looking at this eye chart here, if you could read it from the top please.

Peter: Then they put some drops in

Steve: We'll do one in each eye.

Peter: Then I had to wait for them to work. Then they took some photos of my eyes to see if there are any changes.

Steve: And open both eyes nice and big. So Peter, what we're looking at here is an image of your right eye.

Peter: They told me that if I looked after my diabetes, that it would also help my eyes stay healthy, it was all very easy.

I got the results in a letter a couple of weeks later. My letter said that my eyes were healthy, so I don't need to worry.

Sight is important to me as it helps me stay independent and allows me to see the people around me who I care about.

If a simple test like this can keep my eyes healthy, then it's definitely worth it.

Text: If you have received an appointment letter, we look forward to welcoming you.

You can find out more information about diabetic eye screening on the Diabetes UK website.

Last updated: January 2024

Contact us

Phone: 020 7188 1979

We answer the phone Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm, excluding bank holidays.

Email: [email protected]

We aim to respond to emails within 2 working days but it may take longer.

We're open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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