You are entitled to receive healthcare from a range of experts, who will help you to understand and manage your diabetes.
What To Expect...
Your healthcare team will cover everything from general to highly specialised medical advice, and can be based in more than one place – your GP's surgery as well as a specialist diabetes clinic.
Remember, YOU are a key part of your own healthcare team. Ask, ask and ask again. All these people are there to help you. Remember, if you don’t understand what they say, ask them to explain again until you do. It’s important you understand your diabetes so that you can take control of it.
Here’s a quick guide to the various medical experts from your healthcare team who’ll help you to manage your diabetes.
• GP - Your GP is responsible for your general health at the surgery, but should know about your diabetes and the medicines you are taking. Your GP can refer you to specialist clinics and health professionals to help you manage your diabetes.
• Practice nurse - Your practice nurse also helps with your general health and should also have information about your diabetes.
• Diabetes specialist nurse or DSN - This nurse only works with people with diabetes. They can give you advice and may also visit you at home.
• Diabetologists are experts in diabetes and are usually based at a hospital clinic or special diabetes centre.
• Dietitian - You are also entitled to receive advice about what to eat from a registered dietitian. Their job is to help you to eat healthily.
• Optometrist - You will have your eyes checked every year and will be screened for retinopathy (a condition that affects the seeing part of the eye). There are no obvious symptoms of retinopathy, which is why it’s important to have your eyes checked regularly.
• Podiatrist/chiropodist - You will have your feet checked every year by a chiropodist or podiatrist.
• Pharmacists/chemists – Pharmacists can also be helpful in giving you advice about your medicines and answering general questions.
Mighty DUKs Top Tip for health appointments
• When you see a doctor about something unrelated to your diabetes, or visit your dentist, don’t assume they know about your diabetes. Be on the safe side and spell it out to them.
Taking care of yourself….
The more control you have over your Type 1 the less this will impact your day-to-day life and you will also have less chance of developing complications.
You’ll get a number of tests at least once a year and this is called the annual review. You might have some of the tests done more often depending on your circumstances.
These tests are included in the 15 essential checks and services, the slideshow below shows you what these are:
Learning to take better care of yourself….
To help you live with diabetes more effectively you should have access to a structured education programme at your diabetes centre.
What is structured education?
This is a planned programme of diabetes education usually delivered by diabetes specialist nurses.
How do I get this education?
Ask your diabetes healthcare team about this.
When should I get this education?
You should get this education when you are first diagnosed and then on an ongoing basis.
Are there some education programmes that I should ask about?
There are a variety of programmes available. Your healthcare team will know which would be best suited to your needs.
One example is called DAFNE – Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating. You can get further information about these programmes from your healthcare team or visit: www.dafne.uk.com
"Clinic staff will use your annual review to check for any warning signs of complications. This is why it is really important for you to go."