The service covers the following CCGs: Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire. Our aim for the programme is to provide a unified, high quality, safe service in line with national guidance across the region. This page is your programme's dedicated patient portal, providing you with all the information you need for your diabetic eye screening appointment
BaNES, Swindon & Wiltshire
The BaNES, Swindon & Wiltshire diabetic eye screening programme screens people for diabetic retinopathy. This page offers general information to people with diabetes about how to book a diabetic eye screening appointment and what will happen at their diabetic eye screening appointment.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.
There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin
- Type 2 - when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don't react to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.
However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight.
To minimise the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should:
- Ensure they control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol
- Attend diabetic eye screening appointments – annual screening is offered to all people with diabetes aged 12 and over to pick up and treat any problems early on.
For more information about diabetes and diabetic retinopathy please visit NHS Choices.
We will test your eyes using Minims Tropicamide 1.0% eye drops.
It’s extremely rare, but you may experience a reaction to these drops. If you - or the person you’re caring for - have any of the following symptoms, contact your local A&E department.
- severe eye pain
- nausea and vomiting
- severe headache
- blurred vision and seeing halos around lights
- profuse tearing.
The eye drops we’ve used last for six hours. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery during this time.
If you have diabetes and become pregnant, you will need special care as there are risks to both mother and baby associated with the condition.
- You'll be offered additional tests for diabetic retinopathy at or soon after your first antenatal clinic visit, and also after 28 weeks of pregnancy.
- If the early stages of retinopathy are found at the first screening, you will also be offered another test between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- If serious retinopathy is found at any screening, you will be referred to an eye specialist.
Some women who do not have diabetes can develop hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) during pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes.
Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes are not offered screening for diabetic retinopathy.
For more information about diabetes and pregnancy please visit NHS Choices.
Every effort is made to run screening clinics from venues close to where you live to make getting to your appointment as easy as possible. Sometimes, however, we are not able to run clinics from your local GP and you will be asked to go to another place within the area, such as a larger health centre or community hospital.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, due to the increased risk of infection to people with diabetes and staff, we are unable to return to many of the local GP surgeries we used before the pandemic. This means you may not get offered an appointment at your usual venue. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and be assured that the new venue will be the closest we can offer, and will have more choice of appointment dates and times and be near to bus routes from many localities.
Please see below for other travel options to get to your appointment.
We recommend you do not drive to your eye screening appointment as your pupils will be dilated to enable us to take photographs of the back of the eye, and this causes blurred vision for up to 6 hours afterwards. If you cannot use public transport and have no friends or family available to bring you, you may be able to arrange for volunteer transport.
Follow the links below to see what's available in
Bath & NE Somerset Council Volunteer Transport Schemes
Please note you need to be a Diamond Pass holder or register to use Dial-a-Ride services
|Bath area||01225 335019|
|Keynsham area||01225 395321|
|Midsomer Norton area||01761 418097|
Provides most health and social journeys – volunteer service based on donations
Wiltshire & Swindon - Community First Transport Services
Community transport services for car, minibus or shopmobility schemes, based on donations.
Other volunteer transport schemes may be found on your local town/parish council websites or contact their offices to discuss what's available.
Appointments & Enquiries
Online Appointment Booking
Online Appointment Booking - BaNES, Swindon & Wiltshire
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