Diabetic Eye Screening Programme
Who We Are
We are the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, based at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the Macleod Diabetes and Endocrine Centre.
Our team is made up of a Clinical Lead, a Programme manager, graders and screeners. There are 16 members of our team, including our friendly, dedicated admin staff.
Our lead Clinician is Dr Elizabeth Wilkinson, a consultant Ophthalmologist trained at Cambridge, St Thomas's and Moorfields. She is particularly interested in diabetes, screening, prevention of eye disease and innovation.
We hold a database containing details of all diabetic patients that are registered with a GP in our catchment area (Exeter, North, East and Mid Devon). We have approximately 33000 patients registered with our service and are committed to providing them with a high standard of care. Our aim is to prevent loss of sight through diabetic retinopathy.
What We Do
Diabetic retinopathy (damage to the small blood vessels in the eyes that cause them to bleed and leak fluid) is one of the most common causes of blindness in the Western world and, as it can be asymptomatic, it is very important that screening takes place.
Diabetic patients, over the age of 12, are invited on a yearly basis to attend a screening clinic, either at their local surgery, or a nearby community hospital.
At these clinics, we take high resolution, digital photographs of the back of the eye (the retina) which can then be assessed for diabetic retinopathy. These images are looked at independently, by two trained and experienced graders, where they can be compared to previous images, assigned a grade, and referred to an ophthalmologist (Eye specialist) if necessary.
Our aim is for Patients to receive their results by post within three weeks of the screening appointment.