Lancashire: Important information about diabetic eye screening services

05 Aug 2016

From October 2016, people with diabetes in the Lancashire area 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 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.

Claire Walker, Head of Public Health for NHS England North (Lancashire) said:

“Currently in Lancashire, over 80% of patients with diabetes attend eye screening each year, our aim is to encourage all patients with diabetes to take up their invitation to diabetic eye screening, as it could save their eyesight. NHS England looks forward to working together with EMIS Care over the next three years, to further improve the way that the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme is made even more accessible to patients. Our aim is to ensure that people living in Lancashire have available high-quality diabetic eye screening services.”

Kevin McDonnell, Managing Director of EMIS Care stated:

“Our mission, vision and values are to provide a patient centric service. We aim to improve the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve by providing the best service possible. We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and look forward to serving the people in the new Lancashire DESP.”

For more information about the Lancashire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme visit: