We have updated the national diabetic eye screening (DES) pathway standards.
The revised standards apply from 1 April 2017. Local DES providers should make sure they are familiar with the new standards and should read them in conjunction with the national service specification for diabetic eye screening.
Diabetic eye screening reduces the risk of sight loss among people with diabetes by detecting diabetic retinopathy early when treatment is most effective.
The programme pathway standards assess the screening process and enable providers and commissioners to identify where improvements can be made most effectively across the pathway.
Back in 2015, we started working with the screening quality assurance service (SQAS) and representatives of local screening providers to review and revise the interim national standards. We then consulted on the revised standards with local providers and commissioners.
Over the past year we have worked with the DES software suppliers to look at the changes required to the screening software to support these revised standards. This has resulted in additional clarification to some of the definitions in the standards document.
We have also developed a set of technical documents that should be read in conjunction with the standards and that specify how the data is recorded and reported on.
These documents include the dataset that is used in each of the different software systems. We have tried to keep any changes to a minimum but have added:
- items to support the DES pathway for pregnant women and to support additional recall timeframes for people who are managed in digital surveillance clinics
- demographics fields to help services report against CQUINs (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation goals) or in conducting health needs assessments with the aim of reducing inequalities in access to their service
- fields to support the NHS Accessible Information Standard
We have also published guidance for DES services on collecting demographic information.
In addition to the dataset, we are updating the programme performance report, the dataset calculation document and the screening to treatment timeline tracker to align with the new standards. We will continue to work with the software suppliers to make sure the new programme performance report is available for quarter 1 reporting in September 2017.
We have removed a number of interim standards that related to the structure of the programme and are included in the service specification. Guidance for commissioners on how they can continue to monitor these aspects of the service is also available.
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