Not all bad news

First published in Letters

WE have all seen the criticism of the NHS in Wales that has been in the media for the past few months. It has become something of a political football. But, I would like to share a health success story with your readers so that we can celebrate our unique NHS and stop kicking it about. According to research from the British Medical Journal Open, for the first time in 50 years, diabetic retinopathy is no longer the leading cause of blindness in working age people in England and Wales.

While there are a few possible reasons for this, there is no doubt that regular eye screening works and we are lucky that in Wales we have a national programme that is amongst the best in the world.

In its early stages retinopathy might not have any obvious symptoms.

So, by attending a Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service for Wales (DRSSW) appointment, a person with diabetes can help detect any signs of potential diabetes related damage to the eye.

By detecting the condition early more can be done to repair any damage and delay it getting any worse.

I hope this encourages the 173,000 people living with diabetes in Wales to make sure they have their regular eye checks.

For a person with diabetes, attending this appointment and keeping good control of their condition could be the difference between losing or saving their sight.

DAI WILLIAMS

National Director Diabetes

UK Cymru

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