1 December 2017

Diabetic Eye Screening Service among the best

The performance of the Diabetic Eye Screening programme in Sheffield is among the best in the country, according to official figures.

Data from Public Health England shows that the screening service, run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is performing above the national average for the uptake of the screening, timely issuing of results and the fast assessment of urgent referrals.

Uptake of screening is at 83.8%, and 99.7% of results are issued within three weeks.
The Trust is fourth best in the country when it comes to seeing urgent referrals within four weeks, assessing 91.1% of these patients within the timeframe. This compares to a national average of 75.4% and a target of 80%.

Diabetes patients aged 12 and over are invited for the annual retinopathy screening, which helps to detect any changes in the eye caused by their diabetes. If left undetected or untreated, these changes can develop to a stage where they become sight threatening.

Approximately 27,000 people are invited for screening in Sheffield annually, of whom about 22,500 attend – equating to 450 people per week being screened.

Scott Pickles, Programme Manager, said: “The screening programme is vital because it helps to identify any changes early before they reach the stage where they can become sight threatening.

“To achieve these results is a great tribute to the team, as it is not easy to keep making improvements and reach those patients who may not normally take up the screening invitation. Hopefully we can do even better next year.”

A number of measures have been taken to try and reach as many patients as possible, including holding extra clinics in the community, working with GPs to identify patients who haven’t attended and giving patients reminder phone calls in advance.

Scott Pickles said: “The screening involves a quick patient history, vision test and photos of the eye. It is 30 minutes once a year which reduces the chance of sight loss. I would urge people to take up their screening invitation.”


Picture caption, left to right: Scott Pickles, Programme Manager; Daniel Allsop, Senior Retinal Screener Grader; Tracy Sayle, Senior Clerical Officer; Rosette Lumala, Clerical Officer

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