A new diabetic eye screening service in West Yorkshire

02 Mar 2017

From April 2017, people with diabetes in the West Riding and Craven area of Yorkshire will benefit from a new diabetic eye screening service.

Eye screening is an essential part of diabetes care to check for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it is not detected early and treated. Everyone aged 12 and over with diabetes is invited to attend once a year.

From 1 April 2017 the Bradford & Airedale, Calderdale & South Kirklees diabetic eye screening programmes and the Craven area of the North Yorkshire & York diabetic eye screening programme are merging to create the West Riding & Craven Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

NHS England has awarded EMIS Care, the current provider in Bradford & Airedale, the contracts to deliver the service. The mobilisation period has begun and the existing providers will be working together to ensure a smooth transition. Patients and Key stakeholders will be consulted and kept informed of any changes throughout the mobilisation.

The new service will offer screening from a mixture of community clinics, health centres and GP Surgeries. Appointments will still be available at Donovan Smith Opticians in Brighouse and the Huddersfield Specsavers store as they will still be part of the service. The programme will also be operating a closed booking system using a central administration centre to provide patients with an easy and efficient booking process.

The aim of the merged programme is to encourage more patients to come forward for screening by offering a standardised yet flexible service. The different programmes have been combined to ensure that quality of care is consistently high across the region.

Patients will not experience any disruption to the current service and will be communicated with in good time ahead of booking their next appointment.

Natalie Mulik, Public Health Commissioning Manager from NHS England North said:

“NHS England looks forward to working together with EMIS Care over the next three years to further improve access to patients of the West Riding & Craven Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. Our aim is to ensure that all patients with diabetes have access to high-quality diabetic eye screening services and have no barriers to take up their invitation to diabetic eye screening, which could save their eyesight”

Jonathan Hildred, EMIS Care, Director of Healthcare stated:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this contract, our existing team in Bradford and Airedale already does an outstanding job providing an accessible and equitable service. We are also excited to be welcoming new staff to the team from our neighbouring programmes and we are very confident that working together, we will provide the best possible service for patients in West Riding and Craven.”

For more information about the West Riding & Craven Diabetic Eye Screening Programme visit: www.WRCdesp.info