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What do I need to know about my appointment?

content-image2What to bring

  • Your invitation letter
  • Your usual spectacles
  • You may wish to bring sunglasses with you as the eye drops may make your eyes sensitive to light.


Arranging Transport

Please ensure you plan your transport arrangements as you should not drive away from your screening appointment. The eye drops given during the appointment will blur your vision, which may invalidate your car insurance.


To view Dorset County Council’s Community Transport Directory, please click the icon or this link


Non-emergency patient transport services is available for patients who are being transported to an NHS funded service and who are deemed medically eligible. In Dorset, this service is provided by E-Zec. For more details and to arrange transport:

Patient Advice Line: 01278 727 457



 For other Community Transport options and phone numbers, please click the icon or this link


Dorset DESP recommend an appointment between 10am – 2pm to allow drop off and pick up times, and to advise the Patient Transport Service that an hour slot is sufficient for this appointment.  If you have an appointment over a lunchtime period, it is advisable to bring lunch / a snack and any medication that might be required.


Prior to your appointment

Please let us know (via the Booking Office) if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You had a bad reaction to the eye drops when you were last screened
  • You require a translation service or a sign language service
  • You are pregnant (as you will need to be screened more frequently)
  • You have any special requirements or constraints

For more information prior to your appointment, please take a look at the national leaflets (available in different languages and easy read)

What will happen during a photography examination?

The Screener will perform a basic vision test using a standard chart. They will then put drops into your eyes to make the pupils bigger (this may sting for a few seconds) once your pupils are fully dilated and big enough to take good photographs (15 minutes), the Screener will then call you back to have your images taken. Typically, there will be 4 images taken per screen. The whole procedure on average will take 30-40 minutes.

The Screener will hand you the below form which details the drops provided to you at your appointment (click on leaflet to enlarge in a new browser window).


When you will receive your results

You will be sent a result letter as soon as images have been reviewed and graded; this is typically within a few days, some cases may take longer as more clinicians may need to review your images for quality assurance. We will state whether there is retinopathy present & whether a photographic follow up or further referral to an eye specialist is required.


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