More eye screening centres planned for diabetes patients in Kent and Medway

A new provider of eye screening services for people with diabetes in Kent and Medway will make it easier for patients to receive the care they need, closer to home.

After a rigorous procurement process, NHS England (Kent and Medway) has named Medical Imaging UK Limited as the new provider of the local diabetic eye screening programme.

Medical Imaging will extend the service currently offered by using high street opticians to screen patients, as well as existing health centres and mobile units across Kent and Medway.

Elliot Howard-Jones, Director for NHS England (Kent and Medway) said: “Kent and Medway residents told us that they wanted more screening centres throughout the county, so we made it a priority to make this happen.

“Not only will Medical Imaging use high street opticians in key locations to screen patients, they will ensure the service is available for longer hours as well.

“This is another step towards helping to reduce the risk of sight loss among people with diabetes in our community.”

Medical Imaging will take over from the Paula Carr Diabetes Trust as providers of the programme from early October. After 20 years of providing the service, the Paula Carr Trust took the decision not to stand in the tender process and will now concentrate on other diabetes projects throughout Kent. Staff from the existing screening service will transfer to the new provider to ensure a smooth transition for patients.

Jon Hildred, Director, Medical Imaging UK Ltd added: “We are aware of the excellent service that Paula Carr Diabetes Trust has provided over the last 20 years and we are working with the charity to ensure patients continue to receive the support they need. We plan to uphold Paula Carr’s strong tradition of providing a great service for patients, while extending access to services.”

Gary Fagg, Chair, Board of Trustees for the Paula Carr Diabetes Trust commented: “We are delighted to be handing over the service to a successful, specialist provider of diabetic eye screening services, who we consider to be our ideal successors. We will strongly support Medical Imaging during the transition and in the future, in providing the best possible services for patients in Kent and Medway.”