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Screening programme Diabetic RetinaScreen has begun new information and advertising campaign

Diabetic RetinaScreen – The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme, a Government-funded programme, is now offering free, regular screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, to people with diabetes aged 12 and over.

Diabetic RetinaScreen, delivered by the screening service, aims to reduce risk of sight loss from diabetic retinopathy. A public information campaign has begun which supports the programme in addition to an information leaflet, Freephone information line and website. By the end of 2014, Diabetic RetinaScreen will invite over 145,000 people with diabetes to attend free screening (using specialised digital photography) at a local screening centre. Information is available at www.diabeticretinascreen.ie. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and aged 12 or over, find out if you are on the register at Freephone 1800 45 45 55. If you are on the register, you will be invited by letter to attend a free screening at a local screening centre. 

Dr David Keegan, recently appointed Clinical Director of Diabetic RetinaScreen said, “Diabetic RetinaScreen will reduce sight loss among people with diabetes from untreated diabetic retinopathy, a common cause of sight loss in people of working age. The good news is that when caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to sight. Many have already taken part in Diabetic RetinaScreen and will over time be invited to their next screen. I encourage those who receive an invitation to avail of this important free, regular screening.”

Over time diabetic retinopathy can lead to deterioration in vision and potentially sight loss. All people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms and may not affect the sight until the condition is at an advanced stage. Regular eye screening, using specialised digital photography, can detect the condition at an early stage, before any noticeable symptoms or changes in sight. Any recommended follow-up investigation or treatment will be fully quality assured and provided free of charge as part of the programme.

Similar to other population-based screening programmes, the first round of screening is being introduced on a phased basis and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Following completion of the first round, screening will be offered on an annual basis.

Due to its expertise in developing and implementing other population-based screening programmes, the National Screening Service (NSS) is responsible for Diabetic RetinaScreen. Following an open EU tendering process, contracts to provide digital photography and grading services were awarded to Global Vision and MIDRSS Ltd.

Quality assurance standards have been developed and published. A diabetic retinopathy screening register was compiled from data obtained through national health schemes. This source would not have captured all diagnosed people with diabetes and GPs can register any additional or newly diagnosed patients with diabetes with the programme. Diabetic RetinaScreen will use this register to offer free annual screening to people aged 12 and over. Screening results will be provided within three weeks.

A Freephone information line (1800 45 45 55) is available during normal working hours, Monday to Friday and further information can be found at www.diabeticretinascreen.ie.


www.diabeticretinascreen.ie

 

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