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Updated virtual clinic guidance for diabetic eye screening patients

9 June 2021

Both the College and the English NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP) have received reports that a small number of Hospital Eye Services (HESs) have been rejecting new referrals or discharging patients referred by the DESP based only on a triage of the original screening photos and/or a telephone consultation.

Making a decision on whether it is safe to discharge

The College wants to stress that any patient who has been referred to the HES by the DESP must have a decision on whether it is safe to discharge the patient from the HES, back to the care of the DESP, based upon all of the following:

  • the referred patient’s screening images
  • additional imaging e.g. optical coherence tomography (OCT) for Maculopathy (M1) referrals and
  • pertinent clinical information which has been collected following the referral.

In light of the reports of rejected referrals, Public Health England Diabetic Eye Screening have recently updated their ‘Managing Referrals to Hospital Eye Services’ guidance. This includes guidance on managing new referrals and the requirement for appropriate additional tests before a decision is made to discharge to the community..

Virtual clinic guidance for diabetic eye screening patients

Read the Managing Referrals to Hospital Eye Services’ guidance here. 

We encourage you to share this information with relevant colleagues.

If you have any queries regarding this information, please contact Jonathan Baker, Quality Improvement Manager, at [email protected]