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We need your feedback on KPI for diabetic eye screening referrals

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme
A woman sitting in front of laptop filling in the online survey
Please complete our quick survey to help us understand the challenges in reaching the acceptable threshold for the DE3 key performance indicator

We are inviting diabetic eye screening providers to give us their views on one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to monitor performance within the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

KPIs are used to measure how the 11 NHS population screening programmes are performing and give a high level overview of their quality.

The 3 KPIs used in the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme are:

The table below outlines the performance nationally over the past 3 years.

KPI code Acceptable threshold Achievable threshold 2015 to 2016 national average 2016 to 2017 national average 2017 to 2018 national average
DE1 ≥ 75.0 ≥ 85.0 83.0 82.2 82.7
DE2 ≥ 70.0 ≥ 95.0 96.5 96.5 94.3
DE3 ≥ 80.0 - 79.8 75.4 76.0

As you can see, we have not achieved the acceptable threshold for DE3 KPI in the past 3 years. There has been a small improvement in the past few quarters but a number of local providers remain a long way off the acceptable threshold. For the most recent quarter reported, they ranged from 0 to 100%.

The total number of people with diabetes referred for urgent consultation has increased by 14%, but the number seen in hospital eye services in time has only increased by 8%.

DE3 performance is difficult for local programmes to influence as it relies on capacity, feedback and failsafe processes in hospital eye services. However, it does help make sure the appropriate pathway for treatment of urgent diabetic retinopathy is in place and that we are reporting on whether patients are treated within the clinically appropriate timescales.

Possible capacity issues

Local screening providers may struggle to reach the acceptable threshold for a number of reasons, including:

  • referrals being generated in time, but hospital eye services lacking capacity to provide appointments
  • not having enough administrative staff to generate the referrals
  • not generating referrals in good time because hospital eye services are known to lack capacity
  • small numbers of people being referred who then DNA or rearrange appointments
  • lack of feedback from hospital eye services which prevents accurate reporting

We would like to know in more detail why providers are having difficulty achieving this standard.

We have therefore developed a quick survey for providers to complete. Please note the survey is confidential and will not be used to identify programmes specifically.

The wording and acceptable threshold for DE3 will remain unchanged as a significant number of local providers are reaching the threshold.

Please complete the DE3 KPI survey by 31 May 2019.

We hope the results of the survey will help us better understand the issues and identity any appropriate support we can give to help local providers. Watch this space for information on what we find out.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.

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