A retrospective analysis of diabetic retinopathy screening standards recently determined that the current National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for type 2 diabetes may be lacking.

The single-center audit of a general practice included 50 records of type 2 diabetes patients.

The researchers found that just 16% of individuals underwent retinal screening that adhered to NICE guidelines. Of the remainder, 60% went more than three months between their initial diagnosis and first screening, and 65% had a screening interval greater than one year.

These large screening intervals and time between diagnosis and first screening were the main causes for NICE standard adherence failure. “Both findings may be explained through a multitude of factors, including administrative errors, long waiting lists, delayed referrals and rescheduling of appointments,” the investigators noted.

The study authors concluded that diabetic retinopathy screening must be improved to meet NICE standards. “Interventions should be implemented to increase the awareness within general practitioners and practice nurses to ensure all people with diabetes receive their first retinal screen within the first three months of diagnosis with regular annual screening thereafter,” they wrote in their paper.

Chung AJ, Dang MN. Type 2 diabetic retinopathy screening in a general practice: a five-year retrospective analysis. Cureus. 2020;12(11):e11713.