Patients with diabetes should have a full diabetic check-up at least annually.
Most patients on insulin attend hospital clinics, but most of those treated with diet and tablets will attend the Practice for diabetes care. You will be invited, usually a little before your birthday, to make an appointment with one of our specialist Diabetic Practice Nurses, followed by an appointment with your usual doctor. These appointments are not at a fixed time as we feel it is easier for patients to choose a time convenient to them for their check up.
Your diabetic review appointment with the specialist Diabetic Practice Nurses will generally last around 30 minutes, so make sure you tell the receptionist when you call to make your appointment, what type of appointment it is that you need.
Various examinations are done with you during your appointment, such as your blood pressure, your height/weight, and the circulation and sensation in your feet. You will also get your blood taken, and we request that you bring a urine sample with you (sample bottles are always available from reception).
Your Practice Nurse will also cover several lifestyle factors with you, such as your smoking status, alcohol consumption, exercise level, and they will perform a dietary review.
We like to believe that our patients attending the practice for their diabetes care can benefit from both a high standard, and continuity, of care.
Diabetic patients also need to have their eyes checked annually, as people with diabetes are at risk of developing eye problems, such as retinopathy. These checks require special expertise and are therefore not done within the Practice. Screening involves taking a photograph of the inside of your eye, using a special camera (this is safe and painless). Patients are called by the local Retinal Screening Programme, based at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, to attend for these.
In order for you to be automatically called up for retinopathy screening at the Eye Pavillion, you need to consent for your diabetes related clinical information, held at the Practice, to be shared with the NHSScotland diabetes database, “SCI-Diabetes” – consent would normally be obtained around the time of diagnosis either verbally to your usual GP, or by returning a consent form sent to you in the mail.
SCI-Diabetes provides a fully integrated shared electronic patient record to support treatment of NHSScotland patients with Diabetes. By consenting, it means if you are seen in a hospital clinic, or if you move GP practices, your clinician will be able to instantly access your blood tests results and other diabetes related information such as the medications that you are taking. This will help to avoid duplication of tests and examinations and confusion about treatment
As well as the benefits mentioned above, by consenting to allow your information to be shared with the database, you can access that information yourself at home via the My Diabetes My Way website at www.mydiabetesmyway.scot.nhs.uk. As well as being a great source of information and advice about diabetes, by accessing the ‘my diabetes’ menu at the top of the website, and clicking on the Register link, you can gain access to information about your own diabetes securely including blood results and retinopathy screening results. Be aware that you need your 10 digit CHI number in order to register (a unique NHS identifier made up of your date of birth and 4 other numbers. You may find it on any hospital letters or your repeat prescription sheet).
For more information on diabetes, and the services NHS Lothian offer, please see the links below: