The Oxfordshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (ODESP) was launched in January 2006, to provide a systematic digital Diabetic Eye Screening Service for all diagnosed diabetic patients in Oxfordshire, to meet the standards of the NSC and English Diabetic Screening Project Advisory Group.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most commonly described complication of diabetes (DOH 2002) and it is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population in the western world (Evans 1995; Kocour 2002). The Saint Vincent Declaration (1990) recognised diabetes and diabetic retinopathy to be a major and increasing international health problem.
To tackle these challenges the National Framework for Diabetes has recommended that all diabetic patients be offered screening for diabetic retinopathy by 2007.
Screening for diabetic retinopathy has been shown to be effective in preventing significant visual impairment (Rohan et al 1989; Ferris et al 1993; Kohner et al 1993) as well as being cost effective (Bachman and Nelson 1996).