NHS diabetic eye screening intervals have changed for people at lower risk

  • 20 Oct 2023
  • RCOphth

The NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP) is now screening people with diabetes at lower risk of diabetic retinopathy every two years instead of every year.

This change, in place from 1 October, is based on a recommendation by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) following a large study showing it was safe to invite people in this lower risk group every two years.

People eligible for diabetic eye screening who have had two consecutive eye screens, showing no signs of diabetic retinopathy, will start to be offered screening every two years. Anyone at higher risk of diabetic retinopathy will continue to receive more regular screening. While this is a routine screening programme to support good eye health in people with diabetes, anyone who notices any changes to their eyesight should contact their optometrist or optician straight away. They shouldn’t wait for their next diabetic eye screening appointment.

You can find more information here

This change is already in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.