Worry about diabetes eye test suspension

Wed, 22 Jul 2009
According to diabetes news, the delay of a new service to help people with diabetes test for eye damage ( diabetic retinopathy ) has been suspended. The Diabetic Retinal Screening Service was due to launch in Colchester and Tendring, but will be delayed for eight weeks pending a review.

At this stage, the PCT ( Primary Care Trust ) responsible for the service, NHS North East Essex, is yet to reveal what is wrong with the service. Screening the eyes of diabetes patients is very important because the end result can be blindness if retinopathy is left untreated.

Care Advisor at Diabetes UK, Caroline Butler, reportedly commented: "It is vital that everyone with diabetes receives free annual retinal screening with a digital camera. Retinal screening is not the same as a routine sight examination, which NHS North East Essex PCT offers as a confusing alternative. Some opticians offer retinal screening but not always as part of the national screening programme, so it is not always free. People with diabetes should not have to pay for retinal screening ."
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