If you have diabetes you should receive a series of tests each year to show how you’re managing it. You should also be able to access extra care and support if you need to. We call this package of care the 15 Healthcare Essentials. Every year you and your healthcare team should agree on a written plan of care that should include priorities and targets. Take this list to that meeting to make sure you’re getting the care you need.
- Get your blood glucose levels measured at least once a year.
- Have your blood pressure measured.
- Have your blood fats (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) measured every year.
- Have your eyes screened every year by your local diabetic eye screening service
- Have your feet and legs checked. The skin, circulation and nerve supply of your feet and legs should be examined at least once a year, normally by your GP or practice nurse.
- Have your kidney function monitored annually. You should have two tests: a urine test for protein (a sign of possible kidney problems) and a blood test to measure how your kidneys are working.
- Get individual, ongoing dietary advice from a healthcare professional with appropriate expertise in nutrition.
- Get emotional and psychological support. Being diagnosed with diabetes and living with a long-term condition can be difficult.
- Be offered a group education course near you, on diagnosis or as a yearly refresher, to help you understand and manage your diabetes.
- See specialist diabetes healthcare professionals to help you manage your diabetes.
- Get a free flu vaccination every year from your GP. Having diabetes means you’re more at risk of severe illnesses, like pneumonia, if you get flu.
- Receive good care if admitted to hospital. If you have to stay in hospital, you should receive high quality diabetes care from specialist healthcare professionals, whether it’s due to your diabetes or not.
- Have the opportunity to talk about any sexual problems you might be experiencing
- If you smoke, get support and advice on how to quit. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, and smoking further increases this risk.
- Get information and specialist care if you’re planning to have a baby. Your diabetes control has to be a lot tighter and monitored very closely before and during pregnancy.
For more information on managing your diabetes, please visit diabetes UK: