ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP for DIABETES.
Officers: Adrian Sanders MP, Helen Southwark MP, Cheryl Gillan MP, Anne
McIntosh MP, Phillip Dunne MP
ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON EYE HEALTH AND VISUAL
Officers: Sandra Gidley MP, Baroness Knight of Collingtree, Linda Riordan MP,
David Heath MP, Dr Doug Naysmith MP, David Amess MP
MINUTES OF JOINT MEETING HELD TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER
2007, 3:30pm COMMITTEE ROOM 18
MPs and PEERs
Adrian Sanders MP (Chair)
Sandra Gidley MP (Chair)
Philip Dunne MP
Doug Naysmith MP
Betty Williams MP
Richard Taylor MP
Dai Davies MP
Helen Southworth MP
Baroness Masham of Ilton
Dr Peter Scanlon Programme Director for the Diabetic Retinal Screening
Programme in England.
Sally Sharman Diabetes Nurse and Retinal Screening Sister for Chelsea and
Sharon Sutton a Person with Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.
Angela Style Head of Campaigning, Diabetes UK
Bridget Turner Head of Healthcare Policy, Diabetes UK
Phaedra Neal Public Affairs Officer, Diabetes UK
Steve Winyard Head of Campaigns, RNIB
Dan Scorer Parliamentary Officer, RNIB
Ellen Colquhoun College of Optometrists
1. Apologies were received from 36 MPs and 6 Peers.
2. Dr Peter Scanlon addressed the group on progress being made towards
meeting the National Service Framework targets for retinal screening in
Dr Scanlon reported that a major concern was that a large number of patients
with diabetic retinopathy are not receiving follow up appointments for
treatment. This is believed to be an unintentional consequence of the 18 week
waiting target for new patient appointments which are taking priority over
appointments for patients with severe retinopathy, as there are no targets for
the treatment of retinopathy.
This needs to be documented and addressed urgently.
Other issues raised by Dr Scanlon were a need for quality assurance, the need
for peer review visits for quality review, the need to make screening more
easily accessible to all population groups, for example those in rural areas,
and the need for electronic links between screening services and general
practice as discrepancies in paper records mean people are falling through the
3. Sally Sharman explained to the group the retinal screening process. She
explained that retinal screening nurses have 40 minutes during which they can
speak to the patients about all aspects of the care not just the retinal eye
screening. She also raised concern that there appears to be a shortage of retinal
screening nurses, possibly due to a lack of funding.
4. Sharon Sutton addressed the group on her experience as a person with diabetes
who has developed severe retinopathy and loss of vision. She explained that it
is not a positive service for users and that the service is not working in
practice. She highlighted a lack of communication and information sharing
between GPs and consultants as a problem, especially with regard to referrals
and follow up appointments for treatment. She highlighted the need for patient
education to empower people with diabetes and clear and effective care
pathways for treatment. She also highlighted her son’s improved HbA1c levels
since he has been receiving care in the community.
5. It was noted that it would be useful to hold another meeting on the retinal
screening service with the Minister present.
6. Date of the next APPG meeting is January. (Exact date to be confirmed