Examining patients with diabetes mellitus
- You should take reasonable care when examining patients with diabetes mellitus to detect ocular changes.
- You should encourage patients to attend an NHS diabetic eye screening programme.
- When examining a patient with diabetes you should look for ocular changes that are not related to that condition, as well as those that are.
- You should ask the patient if they are being screened for retinopathy in an NHS diabetic eye screening programme. If they are, you should ask when they last had screening. You should clarify, as far as possible, who is responsible for the overall care and clinical management of the patient.
- In England the NHS diabetic eye screening programme service specification no 22 is commissioned by NHS England;56 in Wales it is the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service for Wales (DRSSW);57 in Northern Ireland it is the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme (DRSP);58 and in Scotland it is the Scottish Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS) collaborative.59
- If you participate in an NHS diabetic eye screening programme you should follow local protocols.
- If a patient does not intend to attend the local NHS diabetic eye screening programme you should offer them a dilated retinal examination. This can be part of a sight test or an additional separate service.
- Even if you offer a dilated retinal examination with appropriate fundus photography or imaging, you should make it clear that your service is not an alternative to the NHS diabetic eye screening programme which conforms to National Screening Committee standards.
- You should not use the term ‘screening’ unless you are referring to a quality assured scheme which meets national standards.
56 Department of Health (2012) Public health functions to be exercised by the NHS Commissioning Board. Service specification No.22, NHS Diabetic Eye ScreeningProgramme. Leeds: DH [Accessed 26 Oct 2017]
57 Wales Eyecare Services. Diabetic EyeScreening Wales (DESW) [Accessed 26 Oct 2017]
58 Northern Ireland Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme (DRSP) [Accessed 26 Oct 2017]
59 Scottish Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS) collaborative [Accessed 26 Oct 2017]
NHS diabetic eye screening programme [Accessed 26 Oct 2017]
NHS Scotland (2016) Your guide to diabetic retinopathy screening [Accessed 26 Oct 2017]