A huge success, the local service saw over 25 patients who had opted to attend their local medical centre at Wombwell. Diabetic Eye Screening is an integral part of diabetes care and checks for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it is not detected early and treated. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the blood vessels at the back of the eye and can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated and is the most common cause of sight loss in people of working age. Everyone aged 12 and over with diabetes is invited to attend once a year as early detection through screening allows prompt treatment before any change of vision is noticed.
Kate King, Lead Nurse/Programme Manager, said: “Screening is a way of detecting the condition early before you notice any changes to your vision as diabetic retinopathy doesn’t usually cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Alongside our sites at Barnsley and Rotherham Hospitals, we also attend a number of community venues offering ‘pop-up’ clinics giving patients a choice of where they would like their screening delivered.
“If you have diabetes there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of sight loss as well as attending your annual screening appointments make sure you exercise regularly, eat well and control your blood sugar levels and avoid smoking.”
The first patient the team screened was Freda Ronksley, a resident at nearby Parkside Care Home. Freda’s son Paul, who brought her to the appointment, said: “The convenience of bringing mum to the medical centre, which is just a few miles from where she lives, with easy access made the appointment for mum much less stressful. We were in and out in 20 minutes!”
Laura Brittle, Reception Manager at Wombwell Medical Centre, said: “By offering our patients this service in-house we hope this will ensure all patients with diabetes have access to high-quality diabetic eye screening services with no barriers to take up their invitation, all the medical centre had to do was book a room for the screening team who contacted patients due an annual screening test giving them an option of venues.”
Even if you think your diabetes is well controlled or you no longer show the symptoms of diabetes it’s still important to attend your annual diabetic eye screening appointment, as this can detect signs of a problem before you notice anything is wrong. If you think you have missed your diabetic eye screening appointment you can call the Barnsley and Rotherham team on Tel: 01226 434576 to arrange another one. More information about preventable sight loss can be found by visiting: https://www.barnsleyhospital.nhs.uk/service/retinal-screening/
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