Diabetic eye screening programme

We offer retinal screening at least once a year to all patients aged over 12 within Somerset who have a diagnosis of diabetes. By screening at least annually, we can help improve quality of life through the early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes affecting the blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye. It is one of the biggest causes of blindness and visual impairment amongst the working age population in the United Kingdom. Diabetic retinopathy can be in a significantly advanced stage before any noticeable changes in vision occur. If untreated, 50% of those who develop proliferative diabetic retinopathy will lose their sight within two years and some, even within twelve months.

Our multi-disciplinary team is made up of eye specialists, screeners and expert support staff and we are here to help people with diabetes maintain healthy eyesight throughout their lives.

How to access our service

We liaise with all of the GPs in our area and they inform us if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. We then make sure you are invited to a screening as follows:

  • We will invite you to an appointment we’ve made for you or ask you to ring and make an appointment
  • We will confirm your appointment at one of our clinics across Somerset
  • At your appointment, you’ll be seen by one of our team, who will check your vision and give you eye drops to dilate your pupils
  • We will give you a provisional result and then grade the images
  • We will send your results to both you and your GP within one to two weeks
  • If needed, we will refer you to the hospital eye service, or invite you back for another screening in three, six or nine months
  • You will receive your next invitation in the post automatically.

We screen in the following locations on different days of the week. You can choose which one you’d like to go to:

  • Bridgwater Community Hospital
  • Burnham-On-Sea War Memorial Hospital
  • Crewkerne Community Hospital
  • Frome Community Hospital
  • Minehead Community Hospital
  • Shepton Mallet Community Hospital
  • South Petherton Community Hospital
  • Wellington Community Hospital
  • West Mendip Community Hospital
  • Wincanton Community Hospital
  • Unit 12 Lynx Trading Estate, Yeovil
  • Parkgate House, Taunton.