A: The retina is at the back of your eye and is the part of the eye that sends the messages about what you see to the brain. Retinopathy is usually due to damage to the tiny blood vessels next to the retina. Over several years, a high blood glucose (sugar) level can weaken and damage the tiny blood vessels next to the retina which can cause a number of different problems generally referred to as retinopathy.
A: Yes, a copy of the results are sent in a letter to you and your GP.
A: People attend ophthalmology for a wide variety of reasons. This means that you may or may not have had treatment and follow-up of a diabetes related problems. For example, some people have only glaucoma or cataracts assessed, not the back of their eyes.
If we have up-to-date written confirmation that you have had your eyes screened for retinopathy at ophthalmology, we will suspend you from the eye screening programme until such time that your ophthalmologist advises he/she is no longer screening for retinopathy.
If we have not had written confirmation, but you think you have had your eyes screened for retinopathy at ophthalmology, we will ask for confirmation of this in writing from your ophthalmologist, before suspending you from eye screening.
Otherwise you should attend for eye screening and ophthalmology.
If in future, you no longer attend ophthalmology, your suspension will be lifted and you will be invited for eye screening.
A: Not necessarily. We can only be find out on the day of your appointment. It is advisable for you not to rely on driving away from your appointment in case you require eye drops as they can temporarily blur your vision.
A: Eye drops are only required if your pupils are too small to obtain a good photograph.
A: Yes, you should continue to attend regular eye checks with your Optometrist as well as participating in the Quality Assured National Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme.
A: Yes, please bring these with you as you will be asked to wear them.
A: Yes, and if you require eye drops this is not a problem with contact lenses in situ.
A: Your GP will have informed us that you have diabetes and require screening. Please clarify the situation with your GP in order for us to maintain our records properly.
A: Although some patients are registered blind, in some cases there may be peripheral vision or perception of light which could still be lost due to diabetic changes. It is therefore still necessary that patients in this situation still attend screening unless otherwise advised by Ophthalmology or their GP.
A: If you miss your appointment, you will be sent a letter to remind you that you have not had your eyes screened. It is important that you contact the screening office as soon as possible to arrange another appointment.
A: The Guidance for DM21 is clear: "To meet this indicator, practices must now demonstrate that patients have received retinal screening to the required standard" and "The PCO may ask for verification of attendance at an approved retinal screening service". For Scotland, the approved screening is only through the diabetic retinopathy service. In the case of a patient having attended screening but awaiting follow up slit lamp examination to finalise the grading, they would be considered, for the purposes of the QOF, as having attended screening.