My Diabetes Project – Services
Diabetes information and services in Europe
It is believed that there are a number of essential services that people with diabetes should receive as part of their healthcare. If you are not receiving these, you should enquire why and if these services are available! The UK lists 15 essential services as the level of care needed by everyone with diabetes and should be applied to all countries in the EU.
- Your blood glucose levels should be measured at least once a year. An HbA1c blood test will measure your overall blood glucose control and help you and your diabetes health team set your own target.
- Have your blood pressure measures and recorded at least once a year, and set a personal target for you.
- Have your blood fats (such as cholesterol) measured every year. Like blood glucose levels and blood pressure, you should have your own target that is realistic and achievable.
- Have your eyes screened for signs of retinopathy each year. A special digital camera is used to take a photograph of your retina (at the back of your eye) and specialists look for any changes. This test is free and part of an annual diabetic screening service. It is different from checks done by an optician. If you notice any changes between appointments it is important to contact your optometrist or GP.
- Have your feet checked. The skin, circulation, and nerve supply of your feet should be examined annually. You should be told if you have a risk of foot problems, how serious they are, and if you will be referred to a specialist podiatrist (foot doctor) or foot clinic.
- Have you kidney function monitored annually. You should have two tests for your kidneys: urine test for protein (a sign of possible kidney problems) and a blood test to measure kidney function.
- Get your weight checked and waist measured to see if you need to lose weight
- Get support if you are a smoker, including advice and support on how to quit. Having diabetes already puts people at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Smoking increases the risk.
- Receive care planning for your personal needs. You live and manage diabetes every day so you should have a say in all aspects of your care. Your yearly care plan should be agreed after discussion with your healthcare team, where you discuss your individual needs and set targets.
- Attend a course to help you to understand and manage your diabetes. You should be offered and given the opportunity to attend courses in your local area.
- Receive care from a specialist pediatric team if you are a child or young person. The Type 1 essentials for children and young people set out what good diabetes care should look like.
- Receive high quality care if admitted to hospital. If you have to stay in a hospital, you should still continue to receive high-quality diabetes care from specialist diabetes healthcare professionals,, whether you have been admitted due to your diabetes or not.
- Get information and specialist care if you are planning to have a baby as your diabetes control has to be much tighter and monitored very closely. You should expect care and support from specialist healthcare professionals at all stages from preconception to post-natal care.
- See specialist diabetes healthcare professionals to help you manage your diabetes. Diabetes affects different parts of the body and you should have the opportunity to see specialist professionals such as an ophthalmologist, podiatrist, or dietician.
- Get emotional and psychological support. Being diagnosed with diabetes and living with a longer term condition can be difficult. You should be able to talk about your issues and concerns with specialist healthcare professionals.