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Changes confirmed to diabetic eye screening programme in Wales

03 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Eye screening

Public Health Wales has confirmed changes to the diabetic eye screening programme, prioritising those at greatest risk of losing their sight.

The programme which is also known as diabetic retinopathy screening, checks for eye problems caused by diabetes.

Previously these test have been carried out annually but following recommendations from the UK National Screening Committee, patients in Wales whose last two screenings have been clear will move to being checked every two years.

Dr Sharon Hillier, Director of Screening at Public Health Wales, said: “This change is in-line with UK National Screening Committee and Wales Screening Committee recommendations.

“Evidence shows that it is safe for people with no diabetic eye disease to be screened every two years.

“People whose last two diabetic eye screenings found no sign of diabetic eye disease will be safely screened every two years instead of every year. Everyone else will be screened as usual.

“The change has already been implemented in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“This will enable services to see people at higher risk of diabetic eye disease sooner.”

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is the independent scientific committee that makes screening recommendations to UK ministers and the NHS.

The committee originally recommended changing the screening interval from every year to every two years for people at low risk of diabetic eye disease in 2016.

This followed a large study which showed that it was safe to invite people in this low-risk group every two years rather than annually.

People in Wales who are affected by the change are being notified by Screening Services, and screening service users do not need to take any further action.

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Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
8 months ago

There needs i feel to be some little more thought on this and also a better feed back system and links with GP and local specialist provision. The current catch all invite letters and general / generic return response are not fit for purpose. Those ( of us ) who receive them just wonder what value they are ? When young get your post examination letter it just says your GP is being updated and you can ring Cardiff for a request for a more detailed eye score. The local specialist centre sends a general response saying you will be… Read more »

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