Save Sight – Impact of dedicated diabetes eye nurse specialist in diabetes retinopathy


The Hillingdon Hospital set up a service embedding a dedicated diabetes eye nurse specialist within the retinopathy treatment eye clinic, obviating the need for referring all patients with suboptimal glycaemic control. A Dedicated Diabetes Eye Nurse Specialist (DDENS) educated these patients and reviewed their diabetes treatments. In the cohort of 116 patients seen between March and December 2015, there was a reduction in median A1c from 89mmol/mol to 72mmol/mol in 102 patients. These results came in patients followed up for three months up to 12 months. Patients found the service acceptable, accessible and convenient. The caregivers found it more satisfying and efficient also. It is projected to save both the ophthalmology and diabetes specialist services money in the medium to long term while improving outcomes for patients.


Diabetic retinopathy is the second most common cause of vision loss and the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness among working-age adults in the UK. There is sufficient evidence linking chronic suboptimal blood sugar control with development and worsening of diabetic retinopathy in both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. Currently there are no best practice tariffs or initiatives to improve diabetes control once diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed. The current model of diabetes care existent across UK supports more community based diabetes care and many patients with known microvascular disease do not have access to specialist care. Separating diabetes specialist appointments from the ophthalmology appointment perhaps does not clearly highlight the importance of improving blood sugar control as the mainstay of treatment to this patient group.


To identify diabetic patients with suboptimal glycaemic control who have referable diabetic retinopathy in a district general hospital eye clinic. Offering intervention in the form of education, treatment intensification or early referral to secondary care. To measure the efficacy of intervention using A1c as surrogate marker of glycaemic control.

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QiC Diabetes Highly Commended 2016
Patient Care Pathway – Adults
Save Sight – Impact of dedicated diabetes eye nurse specialist in diabetes retinopathy
by The Hillingdon Hospital


Razak Kehinde

Job title:
SpR in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Place of work:
The Hillingdon Hospital

Quality In Care Diabetes

  • 2020 KEY DATES
  • Open for entry: Wednesday 18 March 2020
  • Entry deadline: Thursday 2 July 2020
  • Judging day: Thursday 10 September 2020
  • Awards ceremony: Thursday 15 October 2020
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