GP Diabetic Eye

What is GP Diabetic Eye?

In England, the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (NDESP) aims to reduce the risk of sight loss among people with diabetes by the early detection and treatment, if needed, of sight-threatening retinopathy. More than 80 local programmes deliver screening throughout England.

In order to invite patients for screening, these local programmes depend upon general practices providing them with timely and accurate information about the patients they are responsible for who are:

  1. NHS patients,
  2. aged 12 years and older,
  3. have been diagnosed with diabetes, and
  4. are to be referred for annual NHS diabetic eye screening.

Patient details (e.g. NHS number, Names and Address) need to be provided so that invitations to screening, information about screening and appointments for screening can be prepared and sent to patients.  The GP holds this information in their patient management system and it is here where the information will be maintained in its most accurate and reliable form.  Patients move house from time to time and because they must visit their GP regularly to manage their diabetes care, the GP is the most reliable source for accurate notification of change of address, change of GP and as usually follows, change of local screening programme.

Historically, patients have been referred individually using paper-based forms.  Audits have shown that manual data entry errors can be around 3% (reading, typing) and manual referrals errors can be around 6-10% across missed newly diagnosed referrals, non-notification of patient moves to and from the practice (especially when patients move back to a practice after a period of absence), non-notification of death or address and surname changes.  Individual referral of patients is time consuming for the GP practice staff and estimates suggest this automated process will save 2-3 staff hours per month for a practice having a register of 250 diabetic patients who are using fax for referrals and currently being asked to reconcile and update a printed screening register produced by their local screening programme, by hand.  At the same time a higher level of assurance can be achieved.

Further savings are likely considering the Department of Health’s decision to withdraw central funding for NHSmail SMS and fax services for all organisations on 31 March 2015.

GP Diabetic Eye is a computer software application that the GP runs within their practice.  It produces a practice diabetic screening ‘cohort’ register that is viewed and verified by the practice manager before being passed to the local diabetic eye screening programme in an encrypted electronic format that the designated screening programme system can read.


2 min walkthrough of GP Diabetic Eye

[videojs mp4=”″]


How do I get GP Diabetic Eye?

When your local screening program wishes you to provide data using GP Diabetic Eye, they will send you an invitation email containing detailed instructions and all the necessary links.  The distinct advantage of this solution over the offerings of centralised extract and analysis service providers, is that no data from the practice or from the screening programme is transmitted to and held by any third party.

Your local screening programme will be able to address any questions you might have and advise how other initiatives such as GP2DRS will work with GP Diabetic Eye.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *