Whether you have just been diagnosed or had diabetes for some time it is important that you get the right support for managing your diabetes. This will help to ensure that your diabetes, blood pressure and blood fats are all kept in check, as well as detecting any early signs of complications so that they can be caught and treated successfully.
Your diabetes team will monitor your diabetes control, and you should have a full diabetes check at least once a year.
This check is referred to as your annual diabetes review: its purpose is to check for early signs of complications and to enable you to lead a healthy life. The annual review consists of a few tests, often on different days, and with different healthcare professionals.
As part of your annual review, it is important that you receive a quality foot check from a properly trained person.Find out more about what to expect at your annual foot check.
Getting the most out of your appointments
Before the appointment
- decide what you need to know
- write down the points you want to raise
- bring your blood glucose meter and results record with you, if you test
- bring any news features/stories or research that you have any questions about.
During the appointment
- listen actively – ask questions, give feedback and ask for clarification if you're unsure of anything
- make notes to help you remember what has been said
- check you've covered your list.
After the appointment
- review what’s been said and agreed
- make a note of anything you need to do before your next appointment.
Care planning review
The annual diabetes review is an ideal time to have your care planning review. Care planning is a process that should be available to all people with diabetes. It:
- allows you to be more involved in decisions about how your diabetes is managed
- gives you a say in every aspect of the care you get
- helps you to work towards goals that are personal to you
- helps you to work in partnership with your diabetes team.
The care planning appointment is a chance to talk about the results of your annual diabetes checks (these are included as part of the15 healthcare essentials) with your healthcare professional, talk about your experiences and discuss how you feel, set goals, and create an action plan to help you manage your diabetes.
Your healthcare professional can help you to understand the results of your diabetes checks, provide you with information and advice, talk about different options – for example, different types of medication available to you – and refer or signpost you to support in your local area.
A care plan is a written document of all these discussions, goals and actions.
The short film below will help you to understand what care planning is, and how you can get more involved in your diabetes care.