New Diabetes Eye Screening Service for NHS Wessex

New Diabetes Eye Screening Service for NHS Wessex

Diabetic Eye Screening Procurement for Dorset, Hampshire and IOW

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the causes of sight loss in people of working age.   It is caused when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that acts rather like a film in a camera. Diabetic retinopathy progresses with time but may not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced and close to affecting a person's sight.

Early detection of diabetic retinopathy and appropriate treatment can prevent severe vision loss and blindness; the aim of the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Service is the prompt identification of early signs of disease and, where necessary, effective treatment at the appropriate stage during the disease process.

NHS England – South (Wessex), currently commissions four Diabetic Eye Screening services for the local population; Health Intelligence Ltd (covering Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport) Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust (parts of Hampshire and Wiltshire), University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (parts of Hampshire and the IOW), Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust (Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.) The service is delivered in line with a national specification (setting out what the service MUST do) which is in place to ensure best practice and consistency across the country.

In 2015 Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust gave notice to end their contract and to stop delivering the service from April 2017. This provided the opportunity for NHSE South (Wessex) to review all programmes to see how Diabetic Eye Screening provision may best be met for the future.

Following the review a decision has been made to change the number of services to three. These will be Portsmouth, Dorset (which covers Bournemouth and Poole) and Hampshire (which covers Southampton, Salisbury and IOW). The aim is to ensure that the new Diabetic Eye Screening service across Wessex will continue to be high quality, deliver an excellent service and experience for patients and offer value for money. This does not mean we are reducing the size of the service or the number of appointments for screening.

This will be achieved by procuring (buying) a Dorset and Hampshire service. Portsmouth will remain the same and is not part of this process. We will invite current providers and others to bid for one or both programmes. They will be asked a number of technical and clinical questions set by the project evaluation and specialist programme team.

Bids will be ‘scored’ by trained evaluators (including a number of people with diabetes who use the service) using a set of agreed questions, aimed at assessing each bidder’s ability to implement and sustain the required standards of service.

The following success criteria will be applied:

  • Compliance with national service specification (what the service MUST do)

  • Ambition to strive for improvement

  • Flexibility of appointment systems to make it easier for people to attend

  • Understanding of, and sensitivity to, local population needs

  • How the service will work for and with the local community

  • Type of information system for identifying diabetic patients and offering appointments

  • Excellent leadership of the service

  • Partnerships e.g. with Hospital Eye Services

  • Value for money

People who are now using the service will continue to be seen and receive the same high standard of care they have come to expect.

NHS England is keen to know your thoughts about your service and what you think would look good in the future.  We would value your input to this process and welcome any comments or suggestions, and you may wish to record your thoughts in the boxes below. You can do this by either emailing me at: Or calling me on: 01138249932.

Thank you for your support.

1. What is good about the current Diabetic Eye Screening service?


2. What are the things about the current service that you are not so happy about?


3. What do you think would improve your experience of the service?


4. Is there anything else you would like us to consider as part of the procurement process?

Sarah Stringer
Commissioning Manager Public Health Commissioning
NHS England South (Wessex)
Oakley Road
SO16 4GX