Diabetes can lead to blindness. A simple and free of charge eye screening appointment once a year monitors your eye health and dramatically cuts the chance of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. For the last 50 years, diabetes has been the leading cause of blindness in adults of working age, but it is preventable. An hour once a year sounds more than reasonable to keep your eyes healthy and your sight intact. However many people in the Tower Hamlets community are not attending their appointments. By the time symptoms of diabetic retinopathy occur, it is often too late to repair damage and lost vision. Some patients with changes may experience no symptoms at all, making attending screening
If changes related to diabetes are found at the screening appointment, patients will be referred to either Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road, or The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. The next step is to see a specialist and arrange
any treatment if necessary. Patients can be kept in clinics and monitored more frequently if needed. All Pregnant patients with diabetes should be seen in screening as a precaution as they are at risk of retinopathy developing more
Appointments that are not attended cost the Programme hundreds of thousands of pounds, meaning money that could be spent on improving services is being wasted. If you receive and do not attend your eye screening, you are taking the space of another patient. All patients should receive a letter with details of their upcoming visit. The letter includes a phone number and our admin team are more than happy to rearrange appointments if you cannot make them. The programme is as flexible as possible to help patients, but higher attendance levels are now
All persons with diabetes living in or attending a GP in the following postcode should be in the Tower Hamlets Screening Programme for diabetic retinopathy: E2, E1, E1W, E3, E14. Local GPs should be referring patients in when they move into
the area or when they are diagnosed. Patients can ask to be referred if they have not been already.
Please take the time to protect your eyesight and attend screening.