South east London diabetic eye screening

How to get an appointment

You'll be automatically referred if you're diagnosed with diabetes and registered with a GP in south east London. You should get an appointment within 3 months of your diagnosis, or registration with a GP in south east London. If it has been more than 6 months and you've not heard from us please contact us.

If you're pregnant and diagnosed with gestational diabetes, we do not need to see you.

If you're pregnant and have type 1 or 2 diabetes, your midwife or diabetes nurse or doctor should refer you to us. You'll be screened in your 1st trimester (or as soon as possible) and 2 to 3 times in total during your pregnancy. Please let us know if you are pregnant but have not had an extra appointment from us. 

Changing or cancelling your appointment

You can also change or cancel your appointment online if you have an online booking PIN in your appointment letter.

Before your appointment

Your appointment letter will tell you where to go when you arrive at the clinic. If you need more information, please contact us.

If you wear contact lenses you will need to take them off when you get to your appointment. Please bring a container and some solution or wear your glasses to the appointment.

You may want to bring some sunglasses with you to wear home. The drops we put in your eyes can make everything look brighter.

Do not drive to your appointment. You'll not be able to drive for at least 2 hours after your appointment. This is because we will put drops in your eyes which will make your vision blurry.

There may be limited seating in the waiting area, please try to limit the number of people who come with you to your appointment. Find more information on bringing someone with you in our visiting guidance page.

During your appointment

Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.

We do not have a reception area at all of our clinics. Sometimes you’ll be asked to sit in the waiting area and our staff will come out to check if you've arrived. If you have been waiting for more than 15 minutes after your appointment time, please let someone working at the clinic know or call us on 020 7188 1979.

Our screening technician will:

  • call you into a clinic room and check we have the correct details for you
  • ask you about your diabetes and your eyes
  • check your eyesight, with your glasses on if you wear them. This will take about 10 minutes
  • put some drops into your eyes. This makes your pupils bigger to let the camera take a fuller picture of the back of your eye

The drops can take about 20 minutes to work and you'll be asked to sit in the waiting area until they start working.

When you are called back in to have your eyes photographed, our screening technician will take  about 4 to 6 pictures of your eyes. This will take about 10 minutes.

We'll look at the pictures and let you know the results after your appointment.

After your appointment

We'll send you a letter 3 to 6 weeks after your appointment to explain your results. We'll also send the results to your GP. What you need to do next depends on your results.

No changes

If there are no changes in your eyes, we'll ask you to come to another screening appointment in 1 year.

Some diabetic changes

If your results show that there are some early or mild diabetic changes affecting your eyes we’ll let you know. Improving your diabetes management can be important to stop the changes developing further. We’ll screen you again in 1 year, but it’s important you have regular screenings to check if the changes have progressed. We’ll let your GP know, but you should also contact them to review your diabetes care plan. Please read the Your guide to diabetic retinopathy leaflet on the GOV.UK website for more information. Visit the GOV.UK website to read the leaflet in other languages.

Some diabetic changes which need closer monitoring

If your results show moderate diabetic changes affecting your eyes we’ll ask you to come back for another test and will check you more often. You may be asked to have an optical c topography (OCT) scan of your retina so we can check your eyes more closely.

Significant diabetic changes

If your results show there are significant diabetic changes affecting your eyes we'll refer you to a specialist eye doctor assessment. This will be as an outpatient at the hospital closest to where your screening was.

Your outpatient appointment could be at:

  • St Thomas' Hospital
  • King's College Hospital
  • Lewisham Hospital
  • Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup
  • Orpington Hospital

Please read the Closer monitoring and treatment for diabetic retinopathy leaflet on the GOV.UK website for more information. Visit the GOV.UK website to read the leaflet in other languages.

If you have any questions after you’ve got your results letter, please contact us.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us.

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Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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