Londoners to benefit from improved diabetic eye screening

16 Mar 2016

Over 70,000 Londoners are to benefit from a new centralised diabetic service that will make it easier to book and attend vital eye screening appointments.

EMIS Care, an EMIS Group company, is now providing standardized screening across the London Boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond, Kingston, Croydon, Sutton and Merton in south west London – areas that were previously serviced by individual providers.

EMIS Care is one of five organisations selected by NHS England to introduce standardised screening across the whole of London. The aim is to encourage more patients to come forward for testing and to ensure that quality of service is consistently high across the capital.

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.

The new South West London model means that patients diagnosed with diabetes will be able to use a central appointment booking service that is open for longer hours, six days a week, rather than having to book locally during standard office hours.

Kevin McDonnell, Managing Director of EMIS Care, said:

“Extended hours telephone booking sounds like a small improvement, but some patients find it difficult to book an appointment during typical office hours. That means some patients fail to book for this important test which is vital for their eye health. That’s a scenario we certainly hope to prevent”

“By giving patients dedicated time slots, the new system will also help clinicians to monitor their overall condition and ensure those needing closer supervision are on the right care pathway.”

“Patients are often invited to open screening clinics without a specific appointment time which makes tracking attendance more difficult. All our patients receive their own dedicated appointment slot which means we can ensure patients requiring screening, particularly those identified as being most ‘at risk’, are definitely attending and taking the right steps along their care path.”

EMIS Care is providing a single service across the six London boroughs, patients will be able to go to their nearest clinic, even if this is in a different borough to their residence. Mobile screening services will also be available.

Chris Spencer, CEO of EMIS Group, said:

“Diabetic retinopathy is a big problem and the most common form of diabetic eye disease – 1,280 new cases of blindness caused by the condition are reported every year in England alone. High quality services that make screening as accessible and straightforward as possible are crucial role, and we are proud to support these with our technology.”