Despite advances in screening for and treatment of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy are still major causes of visual loss around the world. Systematic screening programs for diabetic eye disease have been developed in many countries. The main aim of these services is to reduce diabetes-related blindness and ease the burden of illness on the patients and their families. In the United Kingdom (UK), the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Program offers annual digital fundus photography for all patients with diabetes over the age of 12 years regardless of their socio-economic status or ethnicity. In 2010-2011 a nationwide uptake of 79% was achieved. If disease is identified, referral to a specialized eye unit for further assessment and treatment are organized to take place within a pre-specified time frame. Internal and external quality assurance ensures efficacy and safety. This paper aims to summarize the current situation of diabetic retinopathy screening in the UK and outlines the challenges ahead.
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