Diabetic Eye Screening

What is this service?

Our Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Diabetic Eye Screening programme service is part of the national NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

We offer annual photographic eye screening for people with diabetes aged 12 years and over who live in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

What does this service offer?

All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is caused when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that acts similarly to a film in a camera.

Untreated diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness in the working-age population. It does not usually cause loss of sight until it has reached an advanced stage. Even sight-threatening retinopathy that is close to affecting your sight may not cause symptoms.

Diabetic retinopathy is treatable, especially if it is caught early. Screening means examining your eyes regularly to look for the specific changes of diabetic retinopathy as early as possible. Screening will detect whether you need to be treated in a hospital eye clinic for diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatment is very effective at reducing loss of sight from diabetic retinopathy.

It’s important that people with diabetes aged 12 years and over attend an annual eye screening appointment. We will automatically send you an invite for an appointment every year. Please don’t confuse this eye screening appointment with the general eye tests you have with your optician. Screening does not replace your regular eye examinations. It is important to attend both.

Who is this service for?

All people with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) who are:

  • aged 12 years and over.
  • registered with a GP surgery in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire. If you are under the care of a hospital specifically for your diabetic retinopathy you will not usually be invited to be screened annually by our services until you have been discharged from their care.

How can I access this service?

Our eye screening clinics are available in GP practices, health centres and some hospitals. Our service cannot be delivered in patients’ homes due to the requirements of the equipment we use. People with diabetes are welcome to contact us directly for information and advice specifically about retinopathy and the screening process.

Accessible Information

Screening services have a duty, set out in the Accessible Information Standard, to give people with a disability or sensory loss information they can access and understand.

Public Health England Screening has published an audio version of the national screening leaflet.  You can find links to the new audio files on GOV.UK or click here. 

You will also find the information leaflet ‘Your Guide to Diabetic Eye Screening’ available in languages other than English via the link above.

Are you a clinician that wishes to refer to this service?

If you are a GP wishing to refer a patient to our service, please complete our new referral form and email it to our dedicated new referral account: ubh-tr.drssnewref@nhs.net . Alternatively, you can send it to us in the internal NHS post at the address at the top of the page. If you would like to speak to us, please call us on 0117 342 0888.

Tell us what you think

Bristol Community Health would like to learn from your experience of this service. Your comments and suggestions will help us see what we are doing well and what we could improve. To give feedback please click here.

Your personal information

Keeping your personal information safe and secure is important to
us – so we’ve updated our privacy notice to reflect the changes in
data protection laws.

Please read our privacy notice to find out how we use, share and protect your information.

Useful links

Bristol BS1 2NT, United Kingdom