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We work together! Shared learning at a regional diabetic eye screening (DES) networking day

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme

More than 40 people attended a regional diabetic eye screening (DES) networking day organised by the Midlands and East Screening QA Service (SQAS) team. Delegates included programme managers, clinicians, senior screeners, senior graders and public health commissioners.

Headshots of Julie and the SQAS team.
The SQAS (YPA) Midlands and East team worked together to put together this blog and run the network event.

Our main focus was how we can work together to address screening inequalities and inequities by sharing and learning from each other’s experience. We also covered:

  • shared experiences and common themes from QA visits
  • updates on incident themes and learning points
  • national updates, including the GP2DRS IT solution, grading and test and training sets

There was also an opportunity for delegates to share experiences and ideas across programmes over lunch.


We’d like to thank those who kindly presented during the day. Programme managers Richard Cragg (Derbyshire), Charnjeet Dhillon (Bedfordshire) and Sue Oliver (East and North Hertfordshire) gave powerful presentations about local initiatives to reduce screening inequalities.

Linda Syson-Nibbs, Head of Quality Assurance (Midlands and East), gave an enlightening talk on reducing inequalities and improving access in under- represented populations which generated a lot of food for thought.

Former interim national programme manager Maggie Crockett and national grading lead Shelley Widdowson also gave updates.


Feedback on the event

The event evaluated extremely positively. We also received valuable feedback that will help us in planning the next networking event in spring 2018.

The examples of local work to address screening inequalities will help inform the national screening uptake and inequalities strategy that the PHE screening division is developing.

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  1. Comment by Irene Stratton posted on

    The work done in Bedfordshire should be published so that it can be more widely shared.
    I would suggest that a short report be written for Diabetic Medicine. I recently co-authored a paper which was published in Diabetic Medicine on the relationship between "time since last screened" and screening outcome. The paper mirrors what was found here and so the journal would, I think, be minded to publish this work which shows just how those who haven't been to be screened can be encouraged to attend.
    Diabet Med. 2014 Apr;31(4):439-42
    Delay in diabetic retinopathy screening increases the rate of detection of referable diabetic retinopathy.
    Scanlon PH, Aldington SJ, Stratton IM.

    If Charnjeet would like any help then please get in touch.

  2. Comment by Katy Welsh posted on

    Good to hear that work is happening to improve uptake of screening for people with learning disabilities in other areas of the country. We have made similar links in Devon and work closely together (learning disability service and diabetic retinal screening team) to improve the uptake of screening.