For Patients
For Commissioners

COVID-19 Advice

Keeping you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Under advice issued by Public Health England, all programmes under NEC Care have and are continuing to see patients that are at a higher risk of developing sight-threatening changes and are under digital surveillance pathways and those that are pregnant during the Coronavirus pandemic. This has meant those requiring non-urgent eye screening may have had to wait longer than expected for your diabetic eye screening.

As the service moves forward with recalling patients in phases, it is important that you attend your eye screening test as delays could put you at a greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Venues

We will initially be at a limited number of screening venues so patients may be required to travel further than usual until we are able to return to our full complement of venues.

Social Distancing Measures

To comply with Government mandated social distancing measures we will be seeing patients in smaller numbers in clinics. All NEC staff will be wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) e.g. disposable face masks, gloves, aprons, face shields, which will vary depending on your clinic location and will be ensuring that cameras and chairs are sterilised between patients.

Patients may be asked to wait in their cars before their appointment is due and during dilation with their chaperone to reduce traffic in the waiting area. Only the patient will be allowed inside the building unless chaperoned.

Following the government guidelines all patients and their chaperones are required to wear their own face covering when attending entering and throughout their visit to the screening venue.

Eye Emergencies

If you have any sudden problems or symptoms with your vision or eyes, please contact your local optician or GP for advice, or attend eye casualty.

Queries can be taken on: 0333 456 0223 or email us at miul.administration@nhs.net

Covid-19 FAQs

Screening services have been significantly impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Screening services were instructed to stop clinics in March 2020 and run a reduced service only. NPS Care screening programmes have worked hard to restore services across all of our patient services; however, the volume of people able to be screened in clinics has been reduced to adhere to social distancing guidelines and restrictions imposed at certain venues. 

On service restart, screening programmes have been inviting people according to risk to vision. People who are low risk (Grade ROMO) have had their recall period changed for this period to 2 years. This is a National change for all diabetic eye screening programmes. 

Information on the change to screening intervals during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/diabetic-eye-screening-longer-intervals-for-people-at-lowest-risk/diabetic-eye-screening-intervals-extended-for-people-at-lowest-risk 

Yes. As per Government Guidelines face masks are required at all screening appointments.

All of our screening clinics are being performed under strict infection control guidelines. 

You will see some differences when you attend your appointment. All the screening team will now be in full PPE and will be cleaning equipment more frequently around you. You may be asked to open your eyelids to administer the drops or help with the photographs. There may also be a longer wait between appointments while the room is cleaned. 

All the screening team will avoid unnecessary contact during the appointment, so please do be offended if screeners do not shake or offer you their hand. 

Some venues are not able to provide the screening programme with space for our appointments at this current time due to COVID-19 restrictions. Changes have been made to ensure screening services continue and an alternative location has been located which is accessible to you. 

Please bear with us if a different location has been offered, and please try and attend the new location as there are no indications when services may be able to return to previous locations. 

You may have to wait for screening at some locations. Please contact us, and we will try and get you an appointment as soon as possible. 

Please be assured that every effort is being made to restore services as soon as possible. 

All of our screening staff have been offered the COVID-19 vaccination.