Raising awareness of diabetic eye screening service

MAIN Raising awareness of diabetic eye screening service (1)

NHS Tayside’s diabetic retinal screening service hosted an information stand to raise awareness of the importance of eye screening.

Staff were on hand to chat about the service and explain the importance of attending regular eye screening appointments for those living with diabetes. The team hosted the event with the aim of reaching out to patients who may be unsure what is involved in screening and demonstrate what the process could look like.  It also allowed the public to meet the friendly team of screeners and encouraged those who may have missed an appointment to attend.

NHS Tayside’s diabetic retinal screening service is part of a national programme which screens all diabetics aged 12 and over to detect any referable diabetic eye disease which can be treated at an early stage.

The team delivers the programme from Ninewells and Perth Royal Infirmary as well as two mobile vans which deliver clinics to some of the more rural areas including Kinloch Rannoch, Montrose and Kinross ensuring that the service reaches patients across Tayside.

Diabetic eye screening manager Samantha Creamer said, “The aim of the diabetic retinal screening programme is to detect potentially sight-threatening changes to the retina in the eye. Picking up changes early, means that these changes can be treated early.

“We know that very often patients living with diabetes don’t know or are unaware of the changes that are happening, so regular eye screening allows us to pick up any problems early enough to offer early intervention which promotes a good outcome.

“The service use fundus photography which is when images are captured by a special camera and these images are then later assessed by the grading team. At slit lamp clinics an instant assessment of the patient is carried out using slit lamp equipment and special magnifying lenses. The service has a dedicated admin team which arranges all the appointments and bookings to ensure our patients are seen on time and at a venue which is close to them.

“Tayside is currently screening above the national target and the team works extremely hard to provide a patient-centred service.

“Staff were pleased to have the opportunity to explain about the screening process and I hope that those who visited the stand have a better understanding of what is involved and share this information with their families and friends.”

More information about the programme can be found on the service’s dedicated social media pages. These social media platforms help the service communicate with patients about where the service will be visiting in the next few months, any cancelled appointments, and changes to the screening service, as well as providing information such as what a test result means and latest news about retinal screening that would be of interest to patients, carers or relatives.

Twitter: @diabeticeyescreeningnhstayside
Facebook: Diabetic Eye Screening NHS Tayside
Instagram: @diabeticeyescreeningnhstayside

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