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Diabetes

For patients with diabetes (type 1 and type 2).

Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions and ‘lockdown’ forced general practices nationwide to change working practices dramatically, to protect patients, staff and enable continuity of services. All non-urgent care was suspended, and face to face consultations drastically reduced. Routine chronic disease reviews such as annual diabetes checks, have been on hold for 3 months.

Although lockdown restrictions are being eased, coronavirus has not gone away and remains a threat. Patients with diabetes are at increased risk of severe illness with Covid-19 infection – you are classed as moderate risk (clinically vulnerable). Some patients with diabetes will have been advised to shield in view of other illnesses they suffer from, making them even higher risk (clinically extremely vulnerable).

As the practice looks towards the future, we enter a phase of restoration of clinical services – ‘unlocking’. However, routine reviews and face to face consultations will still be significantly affected, in order to slow/ stop the spread of the virus. Patients and staff still need to socially distance, patients need to wear face coverings, and staff must don PPE (personal protective equipment). Appointment times are thus longer to allow time for cleaning and separation of patients. The more contacts any of us have, the greater the risk of contracting the virus.

Patients are however, allowed to attend doctors surgeries and hospitals for essential medical care. We are still open and operating telephone consultations in order to advise, diagnose and offer treatment. We are able to see a limited number of patients whom we have spoken to by telephone - where physical examination will alter management.

Please do speak to us if you are concerned about your health, in particular your diabetes. Please consider using our online service ‘Engage Consult’.

We are planning to resume some diabetes reviews, initially prioritising patients whose diabetic control is very poor. Poor diabetic control puts you at risk of more severe illness with Covid, as well as diabetic complications and cardiovascular disease. These reviews will be for blood tests and brief examination (BP/weight/foot check) and with one of our practice nurses. The results will be reviewed and communicated to you. You may be asked to speak to one of the doctors or practice nurse Jo McArthur to discuss your results and ongoing management.

As we progress, we will then invite more patients for review. Again, this will be prioritised. Those with suboptimal control will be invited in a second wave.

If your diabetes control is very good (HbA1c less than or equal to 58) based on your last check, you can be reasonably reassured that there is no urgency to get you in for a routine review at this stage.

We have produced a leaflet (click here to download the leaflet) that contains a lot of useful information regarding self-care with diabetes.

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