The coronavirus situation is affecting all areas of life at present, and is likely to do so to some extent over the next year at least. The good news is that with low numbers of people coming into hospitals with coronavirus infections now, a more normal pattern of human activity is becoming possible.
Thousands of people have had their diabetes eye screening appointment delayed by the coronavirus situation. The NHS has now instructed diabetes eye screening programmes to start screening again. The assessment is that the risk of losing eyesight (blindness) is now greater than the very low risk of catching the corona virus on the way to, or coming home from, a screening appointment.
Appointments will be sent first to people at a higher risk of developing sight problems. After these people have been invited, appointments will then go out to the more local people with diabetes. You might notice some things are done differently when you come to your screening appointment
Bear in mind:
•the appointment you receive might be earlier in the morning, later in the evening, or at the weekend. This is to keep a low number of people in the waiting room at any one time
•we will also be spacing out appointments, to limit the number of people in the waiting room at any one time
•people will be more spread out in the waiting area
•staff may be wearing protective clothing when you are screened. This is to protect both you and them
•we will suspend measuring blood pressure for this year to reduce contact between people at your appointment
•it’s very important that you attend your appointment this year as due to the backlog it may be some time before we can offer you another appointment.
•if the appointment you receive doesn’t suit you, call us to choose a day and time when you can some for screening
Guidance to keep you safe when attending your screening appointment
If you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and have been shielding, you may want to contact your GP for the latest advice on what to do
Travelling to and from your appointment
When traveling to and from your appointment, please follow the government guidelines. For more details, go to www.gov.uk and search ‘staying safe outside your home’
Wearing a face covering
In line with government advice, when attending your appointment, you must wear a face covering For guidance on how to wear and make a face mask, visit www.gov.UK and search for ‘face covering’
Anyone ill at home
If you or any member of your household -
have been told that they have “coronavirus” or “COVID-19” recently or
have you a new cough or
have a fever now (if they are measuring this is 37.8 degrees C or more) or
have been told to self-isolate by the NHS
then please DO NOT attend the appointment. Call NHS111 for further advice. Please contact us to tell us, and we will re-arrange your appointment.