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Liverpool Diabetic Eye Screening

Retinal photography

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. Retinopathy is caused by high blood sugars damaging the blood vessels on the retina - a layer at the back of the eye that contains cells sensitive to light.

Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss among people of working age, and most sight loss due to diabetes can be prevented if patients get treatment at the right time. Diabetic retinopathy doesn't usually cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages, so screening is a way of detecting the condition before any changes to vision happen.

What happens at your screening appointment.


  • The screening appointment takes approximately 30 minutes and is free of charge.
  • A qualified retinal screener will take a short medical history and measure distance vision.
  • Special eye drops will be used to your dilate pupils, which may sting a little and will blur vision for up to 6 hours. Do not drive with these drops in.
  • The screener will take photographs of the retina using a special retinal camera.

Vision testDrops placed onto the eye to dilate the pupils

A photograph of the retina is takenThe photograph is graded by a qualified member of staff

What happens after screening?

  • Photographs will be assessed by a specialist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the results will be sent to you and your GP.
  • Many people who attend a screening have no diabetic eye disease and will be recalled.
  • If there are changes, an appointment will be made for you to see an ophthalmologist.
  • Treatment for diabetic retinopathy can include laser treatment, injections, or surgery.
  • An appointment at the hospital might be made if the pictures aren’t clear enough or if there’s a technical failure.

Appointments locations

Appointments are available at:

  • Breeze Hill Neighbourhood Health Centre
  • Everton Road Health Centre
  • The Fiveways Centre
  • Picton Neighbourhood and Children’s Health Centre
  • South Liverpool Treatment Centre
  • Yewtree Health Centre
  • Royal Liverpool University Hospital (for special requirements)

Click the map below to enlarge and see the locations.

For more information about our service call 0151 706 5784 or find out more at:

NHS diabetic eye screening

Diabetic eye screening progamme guidance

Diabetes UK

Take a look at the pioneering history of diabetic eye screening and how it formed the basis of the introduction of screening and early detection of diabetic eye diseases throughout the UK.

What to expect at your diabetic eye screening appointment

To read the history of the Liverpool Diabetic Eye Screening service click here