15 healthcare essentials

There's a minimum level of care that you should get from the NHS for managing your diabetes, make sure you know what care you should receive.

Your GP should discuss what care options are available to you because your care needs will depend on your diabetes diagnosis plus your physical and mental health and other factors.

Diabetes care for your diabetes diagnosis

The treatment you need for type 1 diabetes will be different to that needed for type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes or for people at risk of diabetes. So you must talk to your GP or nurse first to find out what care is right for you.

However, there are some things that everyone with diabetes should get such as Hba1c tests and regular checks on eyes, kidneys, legs and feet to look out for diabetes complications.

15 healthcare essentials for diabetes

The charity Diabetes UK has put together a useful list of the 15 things you should expect to get as part of your care for diabetes:

  1. Get your blood glucose levels measured. You should have a HbA1c blood test every year to measure your overall blood glucose control.
  2. Get your blood pressure taken at least once a year.
  3. Have your blood fats (cholesterol) measured at least one a year to measure your cholesterol level.
  4. An annual eye screening for diabetic retinopathy
  5. Legs and feet checked at least once a year and more if needed. You should see a podiatrist (foot expert) if you need to. 
  6. Have your kidney function monitored. You should have two tests (a blood test and a urine test) for your kidneys each year to check they are working well.
  7. Have your weight checked to see if it is affecting your diabetes.
  8. Get support to quit smoking because this makes diabetes worse.
  9. Have a say in your care. You get a yearly care plan covering your individual needs and you should have a say in what this covers.
  10. Attend an education course to help you understand and manage diabetes. 
  11. Receive paediatric care if you are a child or young person until you are 18.
  12. Receive high quality care if admitted to hospital.
  13. Get information and specialist care if planning or having a baby.
  14. See specialist diabetes healthcare professionals, like an ophthalmologist (eyes), podiatrist (feet) or dietician (food and diet).
  15. Get emotional and psychological support to help you with managing diabetes.

Getting the checks you need, seeing the right healthcare professionals and understanding your diabetes are all vital.

If you aren't getting the right care, take this list to your diabetes healthcare team and raise the issue with them.