Diabetic Eye Screening

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes affecting the blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye and 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.

Who we are

The screening service is made up of an Operational Service Manager, Clinical Lead, Associate Specialist in ophthalmology, Senior Graders, Team leader, Team Coordinator, Screener/Graders, Senior Support Workers and Admin Staff.

What we do

As a service, we offer retinal screening, at least once a year to all patients within Somerset who have a diagnosis of diabetes who are over the age of 12 years. By screening at least annually, we have the potential to improve quality of life through the early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease.

  • Patients are sent an invitation with either an appointment that has been made for them or an invitation to ring and make an appointment for screening
  • An appointment is made and the patient attends one of the venues for screening
  • The patient attends and is seen by the support worker and has vision checks and drops administered to dilate the pupils
  • The patient is given a provisional result by the screener and then the images are graded
  • The images get reported on and the result is sent to both the patient and the Patients GP within one to two weeks

How can you access the service?

As a service, we liaise with all of the GP's in our area and they inform us of all their patients diagnosed with diabetes. We then ensure that the patients are invited to attend for screening.

Where do we screen?

We screen at a number of venues across Somerset on certain days of the week:

  • 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 in Yeovil
  • Parkgate House, Taunton

Patients can attend the clinic of their choice.

Information for Care Homes

Diabetes may cause damage to small vessels supplying the inner lining (Retina) of the eye causing bleeding which, in the early stages, may be asymptomatic. Residents in your care who have diabetes will normally be invited routinely for diabetic eye screening.

When a resident from your care home attends for screening the screening team take an ophthalmic, medical and medication history relating to your resident and their diabetes, co-morbidities, and pre-existing eye conditions.

Diabetes is a complex, chronic condition and is often associated with other diseases. To assist the screening team in providing quality care please follow the link to download the Screening Tool and complete the Screening Checklist and bring it to the eye screening appointment. You may not be able to answer all of the questions but please provide as much information as possible to enable the screening team to carry out a thorough and appropriate eye screening, and assessment of individual needs for follow-up and/or referral.


For appointments please ring 01823 346127

If you would like to contact us in writing our address is:

Operational Service Manager - Diabetic Eye Screening
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 
Parkgate House