Diabetes UK is concerned that more than half a million people with diabetes in England are still not been screened for retinopathy.
The latest Department of Health figures show that 26 per cent of people with diabetes aged 12 and over did not receive retinal screening in the period January 2008 to December 2008.
“Diabetes UK is concerned that half a million people with diabetes are still not having their eyes checked using a digital camera as part of a local retinal screening programme," said Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy Services at Diabetes UK.
"The tragedy is that if retinopathy is identified early enough, treated properly and people are supported to manage their diabetes well, blindness can be prevented in 90 per cent of cases.
“PCTs need to ensure they are promoting and inviting all eligible people with diabetes for retinopathy screening, and provide a service that meets national quality standards as dictated by the National Screening Committee.
"In turn, we would urge people to make every effort to attend their appointment when invited. If they have problems attending they should talk to their healthcare team about what help and support is available.”