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When will my patient be screened?

We aim to screen new and eligible patients within 3 months of being registered on the DRSSW database. Patients will be recalled according to their screening outcome.


Do you still screen patients who are under care for Glaucoma, receiving Lucentis treatment or for other Ophthalmology related conditions?

Yes. Patients who are already under active care of Ophthalmology for glaucoma or AMD (Lucentis) will continue to be screened with DRSSW unless requested otherwise by the Consultant Ophthalmologists.All other patients should inform DRSSW for when they are discharged from Ophthalmology, to prevent being lost to follow up.


Do you still screen if the patient have experienced and adverse or allergic reaction to Tropicamide?

If patients have had true allergic reactions in the past, they can still be screened without eye drops.


Interpreting results letter

The GP results letter will have supporting clinical information of other findings during the screening process e.g. cataracts, drusen. Any recommendations for assessment with the patients Optometrist will be clearly stated, alongside any supplementary notes to the primary care physician.


What about other eye conditions?

During screening other non-diabetes related eye conditions can be identified such as cataracts, age related macular degeneration, occlusions. If patients are considered to be at risk of sight loss then a direct referral to Ophthalmology can be made, or a recommendation that they attend Optometry for further assessment. The reason for any referral will be clearly stated on the GP results letter.


What if a patient has recent or sudden reduction in vision?

Any patient who experiences any sudden visual loss or distortion should be sent to the nearest emergency eye department or attend their Optometrist for further assessment irrespective of whether an appointment for screening has been made.


How are patients referred to Ophthalmology?

Patients with any suspected or confirmed levels of disease will be referred directly into the Hospital Eye Services as close to the patients home address as possible. The reason for any referral can be found on the GP results letter, along with the details of the Consultant Ophthalmologist.


Poor attendance?

This group of patients are at the highest risk of developing long term complications associated with their diabetes, and eventually blindness. Please inform DRSSW if you have any concerns for attendance. If patients are offered appointments for screening and regularly fail to attend, GP’s will be notified.


Do you screen patients who are pregnant?

Yes, following confirmation of pregnancy, then at 28 weeks with further screening at 3 months post-partum. Patients with gestational diabetes should not be offered retinal screening (NSC guidelines).


What happens to patients who refuse screening?

The GP will be informed. The patient will be sent and asked to return a completed disclaimer form to DRSSW. They can opt back into the screening programme at any time via a self-referral or upon the GP’s request.


Do you screen patients with ARMD or who are registered blind or partially sighted?

Yes, if they still have some peripheral vision. Patients who have no light perception in both eyes, as diagnosed by an Ophthalmologist will not be screened