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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP)

Untreated diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss. When the condition is caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to your sight. 

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes affects small blood vessels, damaging the part of the eye called the retina. It can cause the blood vessels in the retina to leak or become blocked.

We invite everyone with diabetes aged 12 and over for diabetic eye screening. How often you are invited for screening will depend on the results from your last 2 screening appointments. If no diabetic retinopathy was detected, you will be invited for screening every 1 or 2 years.

To book a test, call one of the sites that offer Diabetic Eye Screening. Click here for a list of available screening sites. 

If your letter says you need a slit lamp examination, this is because we could not get a clear view of the back of your eyes using digital photography. Click here for a list of available screening sites that offer the slit lamp examination. 

Diabetic eye screening is not covered as part of your normal eye examination with an optician. Screening does not look for other eye conditions and you should continue to visit your optician regularly for an eye examination as well.

To find out more about Diabetic Eye Screening including what happens at a test and your results, visit: Diabetic eye screening - NHS

More information can be found using the links at the bottom of this page or at the GOV.UK website. All leaflets are available in ten other languages. 


Contact us:

Diabetic Eye Screening Programme - 0151 604 7369



  • Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP) arrow icon
    • Diabetic Eye Screening Sites Modified: 10/06/2024 1:37PM | Download:
    • DES Easy Read Guide Modified: 10/06/2024 1:55PM | Download:
    • NHS DESP Information For Health Professionals Modified: 10/06/2024 1:55PM | Download:
    • Diabetic Eye Screening Sites Slit Lamp Modified: 12/06/2024 12:44PM | Download: