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Eye Tests

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to ensure that diabetes patients have access to effective eye treatment to detect early signs of deterioration in sight. [113723]

A systematic screening programme for the signs of diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy) was one of two specific national targets published as part of the diabetes national service framework delivery strategy on 9 January 2003. It states that, by 2006, a minimum of 80 per cent, of people with diabetes are to be offered screening for the early detection and treatment, if needed, of diabetic retinopathy as part of a systematic programme that meets national standards, rising to 100 per cent, coverage of those at risk of retinopathy by end 2007.Funding totalling £27 million for the national health service to purchase state-of-the-art digital cameras and related equipment for screening people with diabetes for the signs of diabetic retinopathy was announced on 22 April.A copy of the "Diabetes National Service Framework Delivery Strategy" is available in the Library.