Medical Imaging UK is now our single North of Tyne provider for diabetic retinal screening. As part of their model of delivery to expand the range of venues available, they have a national sub-contracting arrangement with Specsavers. In relation to North of Tyne, this means they will offer patients appointments in a number of stores situated in Hexham, Berwick, Newcastle, Morpeth and North Tyneside. This ensures there are more venues available overall for patients to choose to attend for their screening across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Under this arrangement, patients receive a written invitation from MIUK for their annual diabetic eye screening.
However, following recent contact from a number of patients, we are aware that that there may be some confusion. We have been made aware that there are optometrists North of Tyne who are offering patients the opportunity to receive their diabetic eye screening at a cost of between £15 and £25, and are writing to patients direct.
We feel this matter is important to bring to your attention - this is not part of the NHS National Diabetic Eye Screening Programme and therefore patients will not be managed along the national quality assured pathway. As a consequence, a patient going down this option will run the risk of not receiving appropriate management for any abnormalities. In addition, he or she will be charged unnecessarily for a routine free NHS screening service.
Whilst we appreciate that patients have a choice in relation to their care, we feel it is important to ensure they are fully aware of the implication of not being part of the national programme. If patients choose to opt out of the national programme, they should contact the programme manager direct so that they can complete the necessary documentation. The programme manager’s contact details are:
Tel No 0191 223 6583
North of Tyne and Gateshead Diabetic Eye Screening Programme
Medical Imaging UK LTD
Newcastle upon Tyne