More than £500,000 in funding for high-tech cameras which will help identify eye damage related to diabetes has today been granted to Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service Wales.
The new funding from Welsh Government, worth £561,000, will allow the service to replace all its digital retinal cameras and replace them with the best screening facilities for patients. The new cameras will feature the latest technology and be the third generation from the current model in use, meaning improved detection for patients.
All people over the age of 12 who have been diagnosed with diabetes and registered with a GP in Wales should be referred to the service and screened every year. The latest figures show that of the 115,528 people who were screened in 2013-14, 29.2% were found to have diabetic retinopathy.
Professor Drakeford said: “There are currently around 175,000 adults and children in Wales who are being treated for diabetes. We want to make sure those living with the condition have access to the best treatment and support available to help them manage their lives.
“This investment will mean people have access to the latest cameras available which are capable of detecting eye damage related to diabetes and, in many cases, will allow the Welsh NHS to take action to save a person’s sight.”
Andrew Crowder, head of programme at the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service for Wales, said: “As one of the 15 healthcare essentials for people with diabetes, there is ever-growing evidence that regular attendance for diabetic retinopathy screening reduces the risk of sight loss.
“This investment is a statement of confidence in that clinical effectiveness and of the screening services’ ability to take advantage of the latest technology to improve our already internationally-recognised service quality.”