The Liverpool and North Mersey Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (LNMDESP) offers screening within the community and at our hospitals.

Diabetic eye screening is important as it helps to prevent sight loss. As someone with diabetes, your eyes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy. Screening can detect the condition early before you notice any changes to your vision.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It is caused by high blood sugars damaging the blood vessels on the retina - a layer at the back of the eye that contains cells sensitive to light.

It is one of the most common causes of sight loss among people of working age, and most sight loss due to diabetes can be prevented if patients get treatment at the right time.

Diabetic retinopathy doesn't usually cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages, so screening is a way of detecting the condition before any changes to vision happen.

What happens at your screening appointment:

  • The screening appointment takes approximately 30 minutes and is free of charge
  • A qualified retinal screener will take a short medical history and measure distance vision
  • Special eye drops will be used to your dilate pupils, which may sting a little and will blur vision for up to six hours. We advise you do not drive after having these drops for two to four hours.
  • The screener will take photographs of the retina using a special retinal camera.

What happens after screening?

  • Photographs will be assessed by a specialist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the results will be sent to you and your GP
  • Many people who attend a screening have no diabetic eye disease and will be recalled
  • If there are changes, an appointment will be made for you to see an ophthalmologist
  • Treatment for diabetic retinopathy can include laser treatment, injections, or surgery
  • An appointment at the hospital might be made if the pictures aren’t clear enough.

Patients are usually referred to the Diabetic Eye Screening Service by their GP or health nurse.

There are a number of community locations across Liverpool and North Mersey where you can receive diabetic eye screening, including:

  • South Liverpool Treatment Centre
  • Breeze Hill Neighbourhood Health Centre
  • Everton Road Health Centre
  • The Fiveways Centre
  • Picton Neighbourhood and Children’s Health Centre
  • Yewtree Health Centre
  • Litherland Town Hall Health Centre
  • Kenilworth Road / Sefton Suite
  • Houghton Street Centre for Health and Wellbeing
  • Sandy Lane Health Centre
  • Burscough Health Centre
  • Maghull Health Centre
  • Hants Lane Medical Centre.