Lancashire: Important update about diabetic eye screening services

07 Mar 2017

From April 2017, people with diabetes in North Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde & Wear 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.

In April 2017 the North Lancashire, Blackpool and Fylde & Wyre areas will be split from the existing Cumbria, North Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre DESP and merged 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, Cumbria, North Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.  EMIS Care successfully mobilised the first section of the area in October 2016 merging the areas of East Lancashire, Preston, Chorley, South Ribble.

As a unified programme, the Lancashire DESP will be offering screening from a mixture of different locations including community clinics, health centres, GP surgeries. 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.”

Jon Hildred, Director of healthcare, EMIS Care stated:

“We are looking forward to completing the Lancashire DESP mobilisation so that all patients can benefit from having a large-scale screening programme. Providing patients with more choice whilst maintaining an excellent standard of care has been our aim throughout this mobilisation and based on the success of the first section of the programme we are confident we will deliver this.”

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