General care

NHS Scotland rolls out nationwide diabetic retinopathy screening service

23 August 2007

NHS Scotland has completed the roll-out of a country-wide diabetic retinopathy screening service to help prevent the large number of cases of blindness caused by diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness of people of working age and creates a significant workload for the health service.  Scotland had an estimated 150,000 diabetics in 2006 and the figure is likely to double by 2015. With appropriate ophthalmological intervention it has been estimated that blindness may be prevented in up to 70% of such cases.

The Scottish Diabetes Framework, published in April 2002, set out a 10-year programme to address the problem of diabetes and eye care was targeted as one of the key issues. NHS Scotland chose diabetic retinopathy screening as a key new service. This involved setting up a new administrative framework, a quality programme, staff training and defining processes that can be consistently applied to all geographical areas irrespective of resource levels. A pilot project was launched in Lothian in 2005 and national rollout began in 2006

NHS Scotland worked with Siemens Medical Solutions to supply the software to manage the screening service. The Siemens software application, Soarian Integrated Care, is used to manage and support the service across the country. Implemented as a web based application with a three-tier architecture (graphical user interface, application server, database server), it can be operated via a web browser.

Deirdre Evans, Director National Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland said: “NHS Scotland chose Siemens because it has demonstrated a commitment to delivering an IT solution that met the healthcare needs identified and had already implemented an effective working solution in Europe.”

Paul Burdett, NHS IT Manager at Siemens Medical Solutions said: “We were delighted to be chosen as partners in this project and it is great to see it coming to fruition. We believe that this is the largest and most advanced example of ehealth projects of its kind anywhere and is an excellent example of a preventative healthcare service delivered on a national basis.”

To top

Save this page on

To top