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Diabetic retinopathy what is it?
Diabetic retinopathy what is it?

Diabetic retinopathy is caused when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that acts rather like a film in a camera.

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What is diabetic eye screening?
What is diabetic eye screening?

Screening is an effective way of detecting diabetic retinopathy as soon as possible.


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Further Information
Further Information

If you require any further information, need to change your appointment or update your contact details, please contact us.

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What to bring to your appointment
What to bring to your appointment

Bring your appointment confirmation letter with consent form on the reverse side. Bring all your usual spectacles with you.

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What is diabetic eye screening?

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Profile of diabetic eye screening

The North West London Diabetic Eye Screening Programme was formed on the 1st November 2015. It serves the diabetic population of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster.

For patients referred to the programme by their General Practice, we are responsible for inviting, screening, grading & referring to the Hospital Eye Services as required.

The programme has almost 120,000 patients with diabetes and is the largest programme in London.

The programme engages a large team of 28 qualified screeners & a small number of community optometrists who are contracted to assist.

 

Download information leaflet

Audio Version of Screening Leaflet

 

IDEAS Research Results

The previous provider of the Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, 1st Retinal Screen Ltd, took part in a research project conducted by Imperial College London, called the IDEAS project: Incentives in Diabetic Eye Assessment by Screening. Patients under the care of 1st Retinal Screen Ltd were automatically included if they were eligible for the study (aged 16 or over, had not attended appointments or contacted the screening service for two years or more and registered with a GP Practice in Kensington, Chelsea or Westminster). The research has now been completed and Imperial College London would like to share the findings with everyone who took part.

Why was the research done?

Everyone with diabetes is at risk of damage to their sight, due to a condition called diabetic retinopathy.  If retinopathy is found early, it can be treated more easily, therefore, people with diabetes are invited every year to diabetic eye screening.  However, only 81% of people who are invited actually attend, which puts some people at risk of unnecessary sight loss.  Financial incentives have been shown to support people in taking on other healthy behaviours.  Therefore, this research was testing whether financial incentives would be an effective way to encourage more people to attend their diabetic eye screening.

How was the research conducted?

People who had not attended their eye screening for two years or more were automatically included in the research.  The research was testing the effect of two different types of financial incentives.  Some people were offered £10 if they attended their screening appointment, and some people were offered a 1 in 100 chance of winning £1000.  There was also a comparison group, who were sent the normal appointment invitation letter only.  The research was comparing the numbers of people in each group who came to their screening appointment.

What did the research show?

We found that 8% of people who received the normal letter came to their screening appointment.  However, only 5% people attended from the £10 group, and just 3% of people from the £1000 lottery group.

As fewer people came to screening if they were offered an incentive compared to people who just received the normal letter, this shows that incentives did not improve screening attendance, and that incentives may actually make people less likely to come to their appointment.

Who conducted the research?

The study was conducted by researchers at Imperial College London.  The IDEAS project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Services and Delivery Research Programme.

The research and you

Participants in the research would have been randomly assigned to one of the three groups (offered £10, offered 1 in 100 chance of winning £1000, or sent the normal invitation letter).  If you were offered an incentive, it is important to know that as this was just research, you will not be offered the incentive again in future.  It is still important that you go to your eye screening appointment when invited.

No personal information was shared with anyone outside the screening service (1st Retinal Screen Ltd).  All data that was analysed was completely confidential, and securely stored.  It would not have been possible to identify you from any of the data.

 

 

If you have any questions about the research, please contact G.Judah@imperial.ac.uk.

The IDEAS project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Services and Delivery Research Programme. 

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