Introduction: NICE recommends that pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes should be offered retinal assessment in the 1st and 3rd trimester by digital retinal imaging. Where retinopathy is already present, an additional assessment should be made in the 2nd trimester.
Objectives: To assess the feasibility of retinal screening in pregnancy by a community based mobile retinal screening programme (MRSP).
Methods: A retrospective audit of 58 pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes who attended the diabetes antenatal clinic between 2008 and 2009 was performed. The hospital notes and MRSP database were examined to assess whether the women were registered with MRSP, were offered a screening appointment and whether they attended at the appropriate time.
Results: Forty-six patients were sent appointments offering retinal screening. 41 patients were screened in the 1st trimester or at first contact and again during the 3rd trimester. In addition all 8 patients with pre-existing retinopathy were screened in the 2nd trimesters. Five patients did not attend the appointment despite reminders. Their GPs were informed and direct fundoscopy was undertaken in clinic. One woman was already receiving care from the eye unit. Seven women lived outside our catchment area and may have received screening elsewhere. Four women were not registered with the programme.
Conclusion: At least 72% of women received eye care as recommended by NICE. 9% did not attend despite reminders and 7% were not registered with the programme. Further work is needed to identify the patient and systematic barriers that prevented screening in these women.