Consultation on the way the NI Diabetic Eye Screening Programme is provided

Closed 31 Mar 2019

Opened 7 Jan 2019

Feedback Updated 31 Oct 2019

We Asked

We asked for your feedback on three different ways to provide the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme in Northern Ireland.

You Said

We had 268 responses to the questionnaire, with over 80% of responses from our service users, their families or carers.

You told us if you thought each of the options could provide a safe, high quality service.

Those of you living with diabetes told us whether you would be happy to attend each of the options.

You also told us what would be the most important considerations when selecting screening sites.  Whilst this question caused some issues in terms of completion, when we looked at complete answers the most important factors to you were car parking and accessibility.

We Did

We analysed all these responses, along with feedback at various events/presentations and letters we received from interested parties.  This full analysis can be found in the consultation report.  As a result we made the following two recommendations

Recommendation 1: Model of service delivery

It is recommended that screening is delivered at fixed sites throughout Northern Ireland.  These should be HSC sites or larger GP sites.  In practice sites are likely to be determined by availability and feasibility of implementation, recognising that access to timely screening is a key requirement for the DESP.

Recommendation 2: Future planning considerations

Accessibility, car parking and public transport links are consistently high ranking criteria for respondents with co-location of services and extended hours of opening appearing relatively less important.  These key factors should be considered when determining screening sites.

These recommendations have now been approved by the Board of the Public Health Agency.  The Screening Team, PHA with now move to put in place a planned implementation process, with a formal project structure to support this.  This will include working in collaboration with the Screening Team in Belfast Trust, Service Users, BSO, HSCB, DoH, LCGs and other HSC Trusts.

Results Updated 31 Oct 2019



The Northern Ireland Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (NIDESP) aims to detect diabetic eye disease at an early stage and prevent sight loss in those with diabetes aged 12 years and over in Northern Ireland. The programme is currently undergoing a modernisation project to ensure that it remains a sustainable service and continues to improve in line with national standards.

One of the key phases of this project is a review of the service delivery model in the programme. Several drivers for change, including the increase in the eligible screening population, pressures on primary care, and importance of timely screening, mean that the current model is unlikely to offer a sustainable high quality service into the future.  A review of potential future options for delivery of the service has been undertaken and a shortlist of 3 options has been identified. 

  • Option 1 - fixed HSC sites throughout Northern Ireland (previously option 2a)
  • Option 2 - fixed GP sites throughout Northern Ireland (previously option 2b)
  • Option 3 - high street optometry based service (previously option 5)

Why We Are Consulting

In order to identify the most appropriate programme delivery model, and ensure that the NIDESP is sustainable into the future, the NIDESP Modernisation Project Board is keen to understand the views of key stakeholders concerning the proposal to change the service delivery model of the NIDESP.

We would like all those who have an interest in the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme to respond to this consultation by completing a questionnaire by clicking the link below.

Before you submit your response, please see Appendix 7 of the consultation document for information about the effect of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on the confidentiality of responses to public consultation exercises.

What Happens Next

This consultation has now closed.  Thank you for your input.  We will be assessing the feedback from all questionnaire responses and discussions at our information sessions.  All this will be fed into a results summary, which we will upload to this page.


  • Information Session 1 - Belfast

    From 18 Jan 2019 at 10:00 to 18 Jan 2019 at 19:00

    Location: Belfast Central Mission, Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast, BT12 5AD

    Anyone with an interest in the provision of the NIDESP can make an appointment to come along and speak to an expert panel. You may have questions or just simply want to provide us with some feedback. Appointments can be made via

  • Information Session 2 - Omagh

    From 28 Jan 2019 at 10:00 to 28 Jan 2019 at 19:00

    Location: Omagh Community House, 2 Drumragh Avenue, Omagh, BT78 1DP

    Anyone with an interest in the provision of the NIDESP can make an appointment to come along and speak to an expert panel. You may have questions or just simply want to provide us with some feedback. Appointments can be made via

  • Information Session 3 - TBC

    From 7 Feb 2019 at 10:00 to 7 Feb 2019 at 19:00

    A third information session will be hosted if required


  • Optometrist
  • Optician
  • Service users/patients
  • Carers
  • General Public
  • Community/Voluntary sector organisations
  • Health and social care providers – statutory
  • Health professionals
  • Health and social care staff
  • Staff representatives/Unions
  • Royal Colleges
  • Political representatives


  • Quality and safety
  • Provision of health and social care services