Skip to main content
Oxford Eye Hospital

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Oxfordshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (ODESP)

Oxfordshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (ODESP) provides a key part of your diabetic care, a simple retinal examination for the early detection and treatment of retinopathy.

Everyone diagnosed with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), aged 12 and above, will be invited to diabetic eye screening.

People eligible for diabetic eye screening who have had two consecutive eye screens showing no signs of diabetic retinopathy will be offered screening every two years (with some exceptions for patients referred to Oxford Eye Hospital).

Diabetic eye screening is important as it helps to prevent sight loss. As someone with diabetes, your eyes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy. Screening can detect this condition early before you notice any changes to your vision.

If you are concerned about changes to your sight, contact your optometrist or optician straightaway.

Your appointment

Your diabetic eye screening appointment will last around 40 minutes.

The screener will explain the process and ask for information about your diabetes medication and any pre-existing eye conditions.

They will perform a vision test, so please bring any glasses you use for distance vision.

They will use eye drops to dilate your pupils to enable the screener to take the clearest photographs possible. The eye drops can leave you with blurred vision for between two and six hours, so do not drive until the effects wear off.

A specialist camera will be used to take photographs of your retinas - the layers in the back walls of your eyes that detect light. Nothing touches your eyes, but there will be a bright flash of light when the photographs are taken.

The photographs are sent to our grading team for thorough assessment.

We will send you a results letter by post a few weeks later and share the results with your GP to help them make decisions about your diabetes management.

Changes / cancellations

If you cannot attend your screening appointment please contact us so we can reschedule yours and offer the original appointment to someone else.

Tel: 01865 231586

Monday to Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm


Extended screening intervals

Since October 2023 the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP) has been inviting people who have had two consecutive eye screens showing no signs of diabetic retinopathy for screening every two years instead of every year.

This change is based on a recommendation by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) following a large study showing it was safe to invite people in this lower risk group every two years.

For more detail please visit:

Diabetic eye screening intervals extended for people at lowest risk -

Extended intervals patient FAQs (pdf) - Gloucestershire Hospitals

Screening locations

To book an appointment at the following locations please contact us (some locations may not be available all year).

  • Oxford Eye Hospital
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
  • Wantage Community Hospital
  • The New Foscote Hospital
  • Bicester Community Hospital
  • Chipping Norton Health Centre
  • Didcot Health Centre
  • Nettlebed Surgery
  • Sonning Common Health Centre
  • Wallingford Community Hospital
  • Windrush Medical Practice
  • The Bell Surgery
  • The Brook Surgery
  • The White Horse Medical Practice
  • Millets Farm Centre (screening van)
  • Exeter Hall Kidlington (screening van)


The following opticians carry out screening on behalf of Oxfordshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme - please contact them directly to book.

You do not need a sight test when you book your screening, and you should not be charged for screening.

  • Abingdon Eye Centre
    Unit 4 Abbey Shopping Centre
    Tel: 01235 533328
  • David Spicer Opticians
    1 Elms Parade, Botley
    Tel: 01865 241142
  • Gardiners Opticians
    Osler Road, Headington
    Tel: 01865 761459
  • Patricia Hayselden
    St Mary Street, Wallingford
    Tel: 01491 835466
  • M J Barfields
    New Street, Chipping Norton
    Tel: 01608 643772
  • Scrivens Opticians
    The Broadway, Didcot
    Tel: 01235 813305

Contact us

Appointments / queries

Tel: 01865 231586

Monday to Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm

Programme Manager

Helen Lipinski:

Tel: 01865 743315

Administration Manager

Donna Varghese:

Tel: 01865 726868

Failsafe queries



Last reviewed:07 May 2024