Home Living with diabetes Looking after your diabetes 15 healthcare essentials – the care you should expect

15 healthcare essentials

15 Healthcare Essentials

The care you should expect

Having the right care is essential for the wellbeing of all people with diabetes. As well as looking after yourself, there are 15 vital checks and services that everyone with diabetes should get for free from their healthcare team – the 15 healthcare essentials.  

You can use this list to talk to your healthcare team about your individual needs as part of your annual care planning review. This is where you should agree your priorities, discuss your personal targets and agree a written plan of action to help you reach them.

 

What are the 15 Healthcare Essentials?

The 15 Healthcare Essentials is the minimum level of healthcare everyone with diabetes deserves and should expect.

You can use this list to talk to your healthcare team about your individual needs as part of your annual care planning review. This is where you should agree your priorities, discuss your personal targets and agree a written plan of action to help you reach them.

1. Get your blood glucose levels measured (HbA1c blood test)
2. Have your blood pressure measured
3. Have your blood fats measured
4. Have your eyes screened for signs of retinopathy
5. Have your feet and legs checked
6. Have your kidney function monitored
7. Get ongoing, individual dietary advice
8. Get emotional and psychological support
9. Be offered a local education course
10. See specialist healthcare professionals
11. Get a free flu vaccination
12. Receive high-quality care if admitted to hospital
13. Have the chance to talk about any sexual problems
14. If you smoke, get support to quit
15. Get information and specialist care if you are planning to have a baby

If you aren't getting all the care you deserve, take the 15 healthcare essentials checklist (PDF, 65KB) to your diabetes healthcare team and discuss it with them.

 

What to do if you're not receiving your essential checks

If you have any questions or concerns about your checks, or if there are any checks you are not receiving, it is important to discuss this with your doctor or healthcare professional.

Our guide, Are You Really Getting Your 15? (PDF, 219KB) tells you what each check should look like, and has tips for what you can do if there are any health checks you haven't had this year.

Maybe you've been waiting a long time for your diabetes check up, are having problems arranging an appointment, or are not getting all the checks you should be. You might find it helpful to take along a copy of the 15 healthcare essentials checklist and use this to explain that you would like to know how you can access the necessary checks.

Making a complaint

If you are not happy with the response you receive, you can ask the organisation for a copy of their complaints procedure. The complaints procedure should give details of who to make the complaint to and any time limits that may apply. If you are unable to complain yourself, you may want to ask a relative or friend to help.

Put your complaint in writing, and keep a copy of it and any response you receive. Explain what you are dissatisfied about and what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint. If you receive a response by telephone, ask them to put their response in writing to you.

If you are not happy with the response you receive, you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman. You can find more information on the Ombudsman, time limits etc at www.adviceguide.org.uk.

Our Helpline gives you information and advice about your rights - find out more and get in touch.

Getting involved

There are several reasons why you may not be receiving the minimum level of care from your diabetes healthcare team. If you would like to get involved in the planning and organisation of your diabetes service, you can ask at your GP practice about whether there is a user group or patient forum, and find out how you can get in touch.

To learn about becoming involved in your local NHS and diabetes services, sign up to Diabetes Voices. Call us on 020 7424 1008, or email diabetesvoices@diabetes.org.uk.

The Diabetes Watch Online Tool has the most up-to-date statistics on how local areas are performing.

 

Support the campaign

We’re campaigning to make sure that everyone with diabetes gets the care they’re entitled to. To do this, we need to make sure that everyone with diabetes knows what the 15 healthcare essentials are, and knows that they can ask for them from their healthcare team.

So far, our campaign has reached more than 2 million people – and we need your help to reach more.

You can help us by: