Diabetic Eye Screening

eye screening staff member sitting at a machine

Diabetic Eye Screening aims to reduce the risk of sight loss due to diabetes by identifying sight-threatening changes to your eyes that you do not notice.

About our service

Diabetes is a lifelong condition and eye screening is a key part of diabetes care.

Attending your screening appointment is very important.

Screening reduces the risk of sight loss by identifying changes to blood vessels on the retina (the seeing part of the eye).     Diabetic retinopathy can become quite advanced before it starts affecting your sight, so that is why it is important to go to your regular eye screening appointments.  That way, you can get the right treatment in time.

The Leeds and Mid Yorkshire NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (LMY DESP) is one of the largest eye screening programmes in England. The service covers a large geographical area spanning the Wakefield District, North Kirklees and Leeds with over 86,000 patients registered in the programme.

LMY DESP service is provided by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which has over 20 years’ experience in offering high quality eye screening to people with diabetes in the local area.

The heart of the service is based within a specialised unit within the Eye Centre at Pinderfields Hospital and this is where our dedicated team of managers, appointment staff, call handlers and graders are based.  

Our screening team travel across the coverage area to provide screening in variety of community and hospital settings. 

It is our aim to make sure we offer you convenient, local screening appointments.

Please click on the link for further information about the fixed locations of our screening clinics.

We also have a mobile van with a camera that enable’s the service to run some ‘pop-up’ clinics in your local community.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, some eye screening appointments were paused.  Read our Covid-19 web page for the latest updates on routine appointments.

Information for patients with a learning disability

If you or someone you provide care for has a learning disability, please let us know in advance of the appointment

Please contact us and and our staff will ensure that any reasonable adjustment’s are made at our clinics to help you at your appointment.

Please see this easy read guide about a health check for people who have diabetes

Asking questions 

Please feel free to ask questions about the screeing on behalf of the person you care for, some of these questions might include: 

  • What will the test involve?
  • How will the test improve the person's health?
  • What are the benefits of this test rather than others (if there are any)?
  • How good are the chances of success of obtaining the images required from screening?
  • Are there any alternatives?
  • What are the risks, if any, and how serious could they be?
  • What happens if the person does not have screening?

Contact us if you:

  • have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and haven’t had an appointment
  • think you are due your annual screening now but don’t have an appointment
  • have any queries about your appointment or results Require any reasonable adjustments to be made to help you attend your appointment.

Please contact us by telephone: 01924 541217 or by email: midyorks.eyescreening.LMYDESP@nhs.net 

Conditions we treat

Conditions we treat

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can affect anyone living with diabetes. It causes changes to the retina (which is the seeing part, right at the back of the eye).

Diabetic retinopathy is treatable if identified early. 

You may not have any obvious symptoms, so you might not know you have it until it is well advanced.

You can find lots more information about the condition on the NHS website diabetic retinopathy pages

Key stats

  • Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in people of working age however if it is detected early it can be easily treated.
  • Diabetes can affect the small blood vessels in the part of your eye called the retina (the seeing part of the eye).
  • Regular screening for diabetic retinopathy is essential to help prevent sight loss from diabetes.

What our patients say

Diabetic Eye Screening - testimonial 1

Fantastic kind staff who put me at ease from the moment I arrived. Such a credit to the service.

Diabetic Eye Screening - testimonial 2

I came on the wrong day by accident, wasn't sent away was still seen.

Diabetic Eye Screening - testimonial 3

I would like to say that the ladies in clinic were the most wonderful, kind and patient clinicians and that they understood me completely. Also very grateful that results were so quick in coming through and GP will be happy now that he has my results.

Diabetic Eye Screening - testimonial 4

Just very good care from all the team. If you don't have these services, it would not be good for me and my health. Keep the good work up.

Diabetic Eye Screening - testimonial 5

It was my son’s first attendance with diabetic eye screening and he was extremely nervous and anxious about the appointment.  I would like to express the appreciation of the patience shown, by your staff and how impressed me and my son were with how you talked through the procedure with my son to put him at ease at every step of the procedure.

Diabetic Eye Screening - testimonial 6

Appointment on time. Pleasant and caring nurse. Warm & comfortable venue.

Diabetes and pregnancy

It is important that you are screened more often if you are pregnant. You are at more risk of developing serious eye problems during your pregnancy if you were diagnosed with diabetes before you became pregnant.

You will be offered screening soon after your first antenatal clinic visit and again around 28 weeks of pregnancy.

If early stages of diabetic retinopathy are found at the first screening, you'll also be offered another screening test between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

If sight-threatening retinopathy is found at any screening, you'll be referred to an eye specialist at your local hospital.

Gestational diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes we will not need to screen you for diabetic eye disease.

For more information visit Screening tests for you and your baby

See the MY Maternity web pages for further information on pregnancy,

What to bring to your appointment

Please bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • Your screening invitation letter.
  • All the glasses and contact lenses you wear along with lens solution for your contacts lenses as you will need to take these out at your appointment.
  • Bring sunglasses as your eyes can feel sensitive after the eye drops.

For more information read Your guide to diabetic eye screening at the Gov.UK website.

What happens during the appointment?

You will be asked to confirm your details such as your name, address, date of birth, contact telephone numbers and your GP name.

  • Sight test - you'll be asked to read some letters on a chart or a picture chart.
  • Drops are then put in your eyes. These may sting for a few seconds. The drops make your sight blurry.
  • When the drops start working and your pupils are large enough for the photographer to take photographs of your eyes, you will be asked to look into a camera and look at some lights while photographs are taken.
  • The camera will not touch your eyes.
  • There will be a bright flash when the photographs are taken.
  • Your appointment will usually last about 30 minutes in total.

Eye drops - important - do not drive until your sight has returned

We will test your eyes using Tropicamide 1.0% eye drops.

  • You will need to have eye drops to make your pupil bigger so that we can take good photographs of the back of your eyes.
  • The eye drops may sting for a few seconds but soon wears off.
  • Your sight may be blurry once the drops start to work this may last up to 6 hours.
  • It is very important not drive until your eye sight returns to normal.
  • Plan how you will get to and from the appointment as you will not be able to drive a vehicle after the drops take effect.
  • You can drive when the drops have worn off and your vision is back to normal.

Screening in slit lamp clinics

You may need another appointment in a slit lamp clinic if we were unable to obtain  a clear view of the back of your eyes from your photography appointment. 

In this clinic we will use a different piece of equipment to assess your eyes.

What happens during the appointment?

You will be asked to confirm your details such as your name, address, date of birth, contact telephone numbers and your GP name.

Sight test - you'll be asked to read some letters on a char or a picture chart

Drops are then put in your eyes

Your sight may be blurry once the drops start to work this may last up to 6 hours.

When the drops start working and your pupils are large enough the slit lamp examiner will ask you to look into the slit lamp at the bright light.

At this appointment a trained slit lamp examiner will look at the back of your eye with a slit lamp machine. This involves you looking into a bright light for a few moments while the examiner looks at the back of your eye using a small lens. The examiner will be able to see around any obstructions such as cataract, previous trauma to the eye or any other opacity blocking the view of the retina.

How will you get the results?

The examiner will explain the result to you in clinic during your appointment.

For more information visit the Slit Lamp examination page at the GOV.UK website

What to do if you have problems after screening

Problems after diabetic eye screening are rare. If you experience a problem with your vision after screening you should contact us on 01924 541217.

In rare cases, the eye drops can cause a sudden rise in pressure in the eye. This only happens in people who are already at risk of developing this problem. When it happens it needs prompt treatment.

If you have any pain or severe discomfort in or over your eyes or they become red following your appointment, please contact your local accident and emergency department.

Explain to the Emergency Department staff that you have had Tropicamide 1% eye drops at your retinal screening appointment and that you have pain or severe discomfort in your eyes.

Clinic locations

Diabetic eye screening clinics are held six days a week Monday to Saturday across the following sites in Wakefield, Leeds and North Kirklees.

Evening appointments are available on request at certain sites. Please contact us if you require an evening or weekend appointment.

Please contact us if have any additional needs that need to be discussed before attending your appointment.

All appointments are booked by our administration team, telephone: 01924 541217 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday or email midyorks.eyescreening.LMYDESP@nhs.net

Pinderfields Hospital, Gate 8a

Please enter through the main atrium, Gate 8a is located on your left-hand side. Please walk to the end of the corridor to the waiting area and take a seat where a member of staff will greet you.

Dewsbury Health Centre

Wellington Road, Dewsbury, WF13  1HN

Please enter through the main reception doors, these are located on the main road side of the building. Please report to the main reception on arrival who will direct you to the DESP designated waiting area.

Dewsbury and District Hospital

Ophthalmology Outpatients, The Ridings Building at the blue desk.

Batley Health Centre

Upper Commercial Street, Batley, WF17 5ED

Please report to the main reception desk on arrival. A member of the staff will come and collect you.

Cleckheaton Health Centre

Greenside, Cleckheaton, BD19 5AP

Please report to the main reception desk on arrival. A member of the staff will come and collect you.

Pontefract Health Centre

Trinity Street, Pontefract, WF8 1EY

Please use the entrance at the rear of the building. There is an intercom in use – please dial Diabetic Eye Screening only and a member of staff will let you in to the main waiting area where they will come to collect you. The dental entrance is not currently in use.

Castleford Health Centre

Welbeck Street, Castleford, WF10 1DP

Please use the entrance at the rear of the building. There is an intercom in use – please dial diabetic eye screening only and a member of staff will let you in to the main waiting area where they will come to collect you.

Church View Health Centre

Langthwaite Road, South Kirkby, Pontefract , WF9 3AP

Please enter through the main door and take a seat in the main waiting area on the right hand side where a member of the staff will come to collect you.

Pontefract Hospital

Ophthalmology Outpatients Level B

Please enter the main hospital entrance use the lift or stairs to level B outpatients and book in at the reception desk.

Chapeltown Health Centre

Spencer Place, Leeds, LS7 4BB

Please enter the surgery from the front entrance and make your way to waiting room 2 through the double doors. A member of staff will collect you.

Parkside Health Centre

First Floor, 311 Dewsbury Road, Leeds, LS11 5 QL

Please make your way upstairs to the 1st floor and sit on the chairs on the left hand side of the waiting room, a member of staff will collect you.

Holt Park Health Centre

Holt Road, Leeds, LS16 7QD

Please enter the surgery via the front entrance and report to reception. Take a seat in the waiting area there and a member of staff will collect you.

Morley Health Centre

Corporation Street, Morley, Leeds, LS27 9NB

Please report to the entrance at the back of the building (at the rear car park) that is sign posted Diabetic Eye Screening Entrance and ring the doorbell. A member of staff will answer the door.

Yeadon Health Centre

17 South View Road, Yeadon, Leeds , LS19 7PS

Please report to reception who will direct you upstairs to the 1st floor. Please take a seat in the waiting area and a member of staff will collect you.

Seacroft Hospital

York Road, Seacroft, Leeds, LS14 6UH

Please report to the main outpatients department, which is on the right as you enter the hospital grounds, down the ramp. Take a seat in the waiting area on the right and a member of staff will collect you.

Nuffield Health Gym

Light Shopping Centre , The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL

Please report to the Nuffield Health Gym next to the cinema on the balcony level of The Light Shopping Centre. Report to reception who can direct you to our waiting area, where a member of staff will collect you.