The Trust

Frequently asked questions


What happens during a diabetic eye screening appointment?

A diabetic eye screening appointment lasts around 30 minutes:

  • At the appointment your sight will be checked. Please bring any glasses you may use with you.
  • Drops will be administered to your eyes to temporarily make your pupils dilate. The drops may affect your vision for a few hours so you should not drive after your appointment. If in the unlikely event you experience any unusual symptoms such as pain or redness in or around your eyes, or ‘misty’ vision please seek medical advice as you may be experiencing an adverse reaction to the drops.
  • Photographs will be taken of the back of your eyes. The camera will not come into contact with your eyes.
  • The Cheshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme will send a letter to you and your GP within 3 weeks with your results.

What happens after the screening appointment?

Depending on your results:

  • You may be recalled for diabetic eye screening again in a years’ time.
  • You may need more frequent screening appointments to monitor your eyes. We will invite you accordingly.
  • We may need to refer you to the hospital for a consultation with a specialist eye doctor.
  • If we were unable to get a clear view of your eyes, we may send you an appointment for a slit lamp bio-microscopy appointment. At this appointment, we will use specialist equipment which allows for a 3D examination of the back of your eyes.

Where can I go for a screening appointment?

We have a number of screening centres across Cheshire, most of which are Optometry practices. A list of our current screening centres can be found here

If there is not a suitable screening location, please contact us.

I am pregnant; do I need to have more regular screening?

Pregnancy can increase the risk of rapid progression of diabetic retinopathy. Pregnant diabetic patients should be screened in their first trimester if possible at around 10 weeks (unless a screening appointment has already occurred in the last 3 months) and then again at 28 weeks. Some patients may need an additional screening appointment at 16-20 weeks or a referral to an eye specialist at the hospital.

Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes are not offered diabetic eye screening.

Are home visits available for diabetic eye screening?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer diabetic eye screening in the home as our equipment is not portable.

Optometrists can perform home visits to look at general eye health but they do not form part of the Cheshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

I do not want to attend diabetic eye screening, what do I have to do to stop receiving invitations?

We encourage patients to read all available information about diabetic retinopathy and screening. Some people may decide that they do not want to be screened for diabetic retinopathy and can opt out of the programme for three years. After three years, we will ask you again if you’d like to attend, in case your views have changed. Please be aware, that you can return to screening at any time.

If you’d like to opt out, please contact us and we can send you an opt out form.

I cannot attend diabetic eye screening due to a medical condition, what do I have to do to stop receiving screening invitations?

If due to medical reasons you are unable to be screened, please contact us. We will then send a form to your GP. If your GP agrees that you cannot be screened due to medical reasons and returns the signed form then we can exclude you from the programme.

My contact details have changed; do I need to inform the Cheshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme?

If you have changed your details with your GP, they should inform us of this change but if you’d like to inform us directly then please contact us.

I need my letters about diabetic eye screening in a different format, is this possible?

Yes, if you need letters in a larger font or a different language or format, please contact us.

I’m moving out of Cheshire, how can I make sure I still get diabetic eye screening invitations?

Please let us know and we can inform the diabetic eye screening programme in your new area. If you forget to do this, when you change GP, they should instruct the diabetic eye screening programme in your new area that you are diabetic and they will send you a diabetic eye screening invitation accordingly.

My diabetes has resolved, why do I continue to get diabetic eye screening invitations?

Following health guidance, patients should continue to be screened for diabetic retinopathy for life if there has ever been a definite diagnosis of diabetes.