UK diabetes charity Diabetes UK has issued a warning that over 40,000 people suffering from diabetes in the South West could face an increased risk of losing their vision. This is due to inadequate screening with digital cameras to spot the signs of diabetes retinopathy . Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness amongst people of working age in the UK.
The Department of Health showed that a fifth of people with diabetes aged over 12 did not receive retinal screening between July 2008 – June 2009.
The regional manager for Diabetes UK South West, Jan Tyrrell, reportedly commented: “It is unacceptable that well over 42,000 people with diabetes in the South West have not had their eyes checked for retinopathy in the last year using a digital camera as part of a local screening programme. Despite government targets people with diabetes are still missing out on this vital part of their care. This must change, not least because blindness can be prevented in 90 per cent of those at risk if treatment is applied early and adequately, and people are supported to manage their diabetes well.”

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