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 October 2016 the East Lancashire and Preston, Chorley & South Ribble diabetic eye screening programmes (DESP) are merging to create the Lancashire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.
In April 2017 the North Lancashire, Blackpool and Fylde Coast CCG areas will be split from the existing Cumbria, North Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre DESP and merge with the Lancashire DESP.
NHS England has awarded EMIS Care the contracts to deliver diabetic eye screening in the areas of East Lancashire, Preston, Chorley, South Ribble, North Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. The areas have been grouped into two lots and will be mobilised separately.
The new, cross-Lancashire model will be a mixed diabetic eye screening service – offering screening from a mixture of different locations including community clinics, selected independent optometrists and Specsavers stores. It 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 more choice. The different local services 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.