What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

This condition occurs when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, which is at the back of the eye. The blood vessels in the retina can leak or become blocked.

This condition may cause blindness or serious damage to your eyesight. In its early stages there are no symptoms so you may not realise that you have diabetic retinopathy.

Why should I be screened?

If you have diabetes then screening is important because your eyes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy. Screening is a key part of your diabetes care and can reduce that risk by detecting the condition early, before you notice any changes to your sight.

Untreated diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of sight loss in people of working age. When the condition is caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to your sight.

How often will I be screened?

Screening is offered to anyone with diabetes aged 12 and over.

How often you're screened will depend on your last 2 screening results.

If your last 2 screening results showed any signs of retinopathy, you'll continue to be screened every year or every 6 months.

If your last 2 screening tests found no retinopathy, you'll usually only need to be screened every 2 years, rather than every year. For more information, please see visit NHS Inform

Where and when can I be screened?

We offer a range of appointment times and clinic locations throughout Fife including:

  • Diabetes Centre, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
  • Carnegie Unit, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline
  • Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital, Buckhaven
  • Adamson Hospital, Cupar
  • St Andrews Community Hospital
  • Skeith Health Centre, Anstruther

We also provide a late clinic, running to 8.00pm most Thursday evenings, at Carnegie Unit, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline which anyone is welcome to attend.

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening appointments team contact:

01592 226852

Patients who need Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS) Appointments:

If it is suspected that a patient has defaulted from DRS for any reason, the patient or their diabetes professional can make an appointment by calling the DRS office at Cameron hospital on 01592 226851 or 226852.

Please leave a message on the answer phone if necessary.

Emergency Eye Referrals

When patients with diabetes report to any diabetes professional that they have an urgent eye problem, such as a very painful eye or sudden loss of vision, the correct procedure is to contact switchboard and ask for the eye doctor on call. That doctor can then advise if the patient needs to be seen at the emergency eye clinic on the same day, or (if the problem does not seem so urgent) if the patient can be seen by their optometrist.

The Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Team should not be notified as the problem is unlikely to be related to diabetic retinopathy.


More information can be found on the links below:

NHS Inform
Diabetes UK
Information in other languages