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Diabetic eye screening extended intervals: what will people need to know?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme
A woman having an eye test taken.
People with diabetes at low risk of sight loss will be invited for screening every 2 years instead of every year as at present (photo courtesy of British Association of Retinal Screening / Kamran Rajaby)

As you may be aware, work is under way to extend the interval between diabetic eye screening (DES) tests from one year to 2 years from people with diabetes at low risk of sight loss. This work is being led by NHS England and Improvement.

People considered at ‘low risk’ are those who have no identified diabetic retinopathy on 2 successive screening tests.

Our plan

Commissioners will inform local screening providers about the implementation process and all services will transfer to extended intervals in due course.

A small number of ‘pathfinder’ sites will be identified to implement extended intervals over the coming months. This phased rollout will enable us to manage risks and failsafe processes and amend and develop communication plans.

PHE Screening produces national information about DES for the public, local screening services and commissioners. It’s important we make sure this information:

  • is clear and concise
  • answers any queries people may have about extended screening intervals

Your feedback

We are asking everyone who works in diabetic eye screening to help us make sure we produce information on extended screening intervals that is fit for purpose.

Please complete this short survey by Friday 7 February to give us your feedback. The survey should take not more than 10 minutes to complete.

The results of the survey will help us better understand what information we need to produce to support people with diabetes and local screening services.

PHE Screening blog

The PHE Screening blog provides 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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