Diabetic eye screening team amongst best performers in England

The Trust’s diabetic eye screening team has been rated as one of the best performing services in England after taking part in Public Health England’s annual national audit. The audit looked at their performance between April 2016 and March 2017.

Above: Patient attending their eye screening appointment

The service, which sees patients locally at a number of centres across east and north Hertfordshire, including in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Hertford, was rated the best in the country for seeing patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy within four weeks of receiving their positive screening results. They also ranked second in England for the uptake of screening, with 91% of patients offered an appointment attending. The team was also recognised for giving 99.7% of patients their screening results within three weeks of their appointment.

Speaking about their performance, retinal screening programme manager Sue Oliver said:

“This is a fantastic achievement and is a great reflection of the team’s hard work. We have built on last year’s excellent performance, despite an increase of 5% more patients being seen annually.

“Diabetic eye screening is a key part of diabetes care and diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss among people of working age. Treatment can stop it getting worse if it is detected early, which is why it’s important that patients are screened annually. We continue to work with our patients to make sure they attend their appointments, particularly those who need more assistance. If they need to be referred to our ophthalmology team, we manage the entire process to make sure they are seen, and treated if necessary, in a timely way.”

The team, which is based at Hertford County Hospital, screens patients for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if not treated early. It occurs when diabetes affects small blood vessels in the eye, damaging the retina.