Diabetes Eye Screening

Paula Carr Trust Vans

The Paula Carr Trust

Below is a brief description of the fantastic
work undertaken by The Paula Carr Trust

There are about 130 GP surgeries in East Kent and every one of them, plus 80 in West Kent, is visited by one of the Paula Carr Trust mobile Eye-Screening Service units. The Trust was set up in 1989 and is dedicated to helping people with diabetes in Kent in many different ways working in partnership with NHS organisations.

People with diabetes are at particular risk of eye problems, but if the warning signs are picked up early enough, diminished sight and blindness can be avoided. In 2001, more than 12,000 people had these special eye tests, which detect signs of retinopathy (haemorrhaging at the back of the eye), along with glaucoma and cataracts.

The distinctive white van with pink lettering is now a familiar site around the county, parked outside GP surgeries. The service has come a long way since 1994 when Pamela Walsh first started to travel the county taking photographs of people's eyes. Now, with three vans and six staff led by Pamela who is Retinopathy Services Manager, there are plans for the service to grow.

How the service works

GP surgeries book the Eye-Screening Service for a full or half day.

GPs then make appointments for all their patients who would benefit.

On the day patients - three at a time - go into the mobile unit.

They are given eye drops and, while these settle into the eyes, details are checked.

The photographer takes two pictures of each eye, giving the best views to spot problems.

Back at base the photographs are screened.

Photographs showing potential problems go to the ophthalmologist for analysis.

GPs receive the results of all their patients who are screened and are alerted to those who need to see an eye specialist.

The Paula Carr Trust also distribute free blood monitoring meters to GP's and practices and diabetes specialist nurses who can then give them to patients who will benefit from them.

It is entirely possible you are using a meter donated by The Paula Carr Trust.

The Paula Carr Trust was created in 1989 in memory of Paula, a girl who spent her young life in Willesborough and was diagnosed diabetic at the age of nine in 1984. She learned how to cope with insulin injections and to effectively manage her blood sugar levels. Sadly she died in April 1988.

There are Paula Carr Diabetes Care Centres in Ashford and Maidstone, where general advice on diet and managing diabetes is available.

In addition to the Eye-Screening Service and providing free blood glucose meters, the Trust has also carried out a population screening programme for diabetes. Of the 27,000 people screened in Kent, hundreds were found to have diabetes and are now having treatment and leading lifestyles that will help them avoid serious complications.

Whilst the Paula Carr Trust works very successfully in partnership with NHS organisations in Kent, it does depend on charitable donations. The latest appeal is to raise £100,000 for new digital equipment and cameras for the Eye-Screening Service.

Charitable donations and bequests can be sent to:

The Paula Carr Charitable Trust,
The Paula Carr Diabetes Care Centre,
William Harvey Hospital,
Kent TN24 0LZ

The Paula Carr Trust Contact Info:

Main 01233 616 047

Eye Screening 01233 651 886

Fax 01233 616 049

Retinal screening camera

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