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Approximately 1,000 patients from across Scotland known to have diabetes and retinopathy will take part in LENS. With their approval, their health will be followed during the trial. This will be done accurately and confidentially from a range of medical records using existing electronic systems. It will be done safely and securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Permission has been obtained from the West of Scotland Research Ethics Committee and from NHS Scotland’s Public Benefits and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care to ensure that the trial is done to the highest standards.

Patients who agree to participate will be involved in LENS for between 3 and 5 years but will only be required to attend two face-to-face visits in a NHS research clinic at a local hospital. After these initial visits, their progress will be followed by means of contact by completing a questionnaire every six months, either by telephone or on their own computer, whichever is preferable to them.