25 February 2019
Patients in Jersey who have diabetes whose details are held on Island-wide database by Health and Community Services are being written to inviting them for a screening appointment following a review of the systems and processes of the diabetic retinopathy screening programme.
Following the review, it was identified that aspects of the screening process had not been carried out fully in all cases.
As a result, Health and Community Services (HCS) have identified areas for improving the quality and safety of the service.
The department took the decision to temporarily pause the retinal screening programme while work was undertaken on developing the necessary changes. These include:
• Increasing the number of retinal screening clinics
• Giving patients a written copy of their results
• Widening the service to include all children over 12 years old and women who have developed diabetes during pregnancy.
Dr John McInerney, group medical director for Health and Community Services said: “All patient records held within the Diabetes Service have been reviewed in order to prioritise patients according to their level of need.
“Patients will be invited to attend a clinic appointment to have their retinal photographs taken under the new system.
“If someone has been identified as a high priority patient, an appointment letter has been sent to them.
“Patients identified as lower priority will receive their appointments as soon as all priority patients have completed their retinal check. This may be within the next few weeks or, if they have been assessed as requiring a routine appointment, within the next 12 months.
“There’s no need for anyone to take action until they receive their personal letter from us about their appointment. However, we’d remind patients that if, while waiting for their appointment, they find they are experiencing any problems – such as visual changes or recent unexplained sight changes, even if they’ve recently been screened, or have a date for screening – please see your optometrist (optician) as a high priority.”
Patients who have any queries can contact HCS directly on a helpline number in their letter, which is 443322 or email email@example.com.
Dr McInerney added: “The best way to avoid the long-term complications of diabetes is to have regular check-ups with your GP, so your GP can advise you accordingly regarding any tests you may require or changes in your current treatment.