Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Scotland updates on Covid-19 information for people with diabetes

This page is specifically about guidance for people affected by diabetes in Scotland. We'll continue to share relevant information provided by the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and other providers.

We have more information and advice about how coronavirus (Covid-19) can affect people living with diabetes, including what to do if you become unwell and what self-isolating and shielding mean. This is being updated regularly with new information as it becomes available. 

Updates from the Scottish Government

All of Scotland is under ‘enhanced’ Level 4 restrictions. This means you must stay at home, unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. Reasons to leave your home include:  

  • to buy essential items such as food or medicine 
  • to seek medical care 
  • to go to work, if you cannot work from home 
  • to exercise in your local area, while following rules on meeting other households 
  • to meet your extended household 
  • for children or support services for parents 
  • for educational reasons. 

As part of this, people who are extremely clinically vulnerable have been advised to minimise contact with others. Further advice includes:  

  • You should not take public transport 
  • You should avoid non-essential shopping, and seek online deliveries where you can 
  • You should continue to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not go to your workplace.  
  • Children should not attend school, even if they are eligible to do so. 

More of the latest information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Work guidance in Scotland

Guidance states that everyone should continue to work from home if possible. The Scottish Government has published guidance for how to return to work safely where this is not possible. You can also access the guidance for individual risk assessment for the workplace.

The Chief Medical Officer wrote to everyone on the shielding list during the week beginning 4 January to set out further advice. If you are on the shielding list but cannot work from home, if you live or work in an area in lockdown, you should not go to work. The letter you will receive from the Chief Medical Officer acts as a fit note for as long as lockdown restrictions are in place. This letter is called a shielding notification and can be shown to your employer without the need for a GP fit note.

Updates from NHS Scotland

We encourage everyone who with diabetes to get their flu jab this year.  In the coming weeks, notifications should be sent to all those who are eligible for a flu jab with instructions on how to get your jab.  This may be a different process to previous years.  More information can be found on the NHS Inform website

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening is resuming with people who are a higher priority invited for appointments first.  Routine screening will recommence once NHS Scotland has caught up with appointments for these participants. Further information can be found on NHS Inform.

While you are waiting for you next screening appointment, it is important to be extra vigilant in taking care of yourself at home, be aware of any new symptoms and contact your healthcare team if you have any concerns. 

Patient advice from Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group (Word, 76KB). Please be vigilant in checking your feet and seek professional advice if you notice anything unusual.  

NHS Borders Diabetes Covid-19 guidance (Word, 35KB)

NHS Greater Greater Glasgow and Clyde Diabetes Covid-19 guidance (Word, 18KB)

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Eating Well During Covid-19 

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Podiatry Briefing April 2020 (PDF, 275KB)

Looking after yourself

We have lots of information to help you look after your yourself in our guide to diabetes. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you're not alone. We've got lots of guidance on how to cope with your emotions and how things like stress can affect your blood sugar levels.

Our Learning Zone will help you get to grips with diabetes, both physically and mentally. It's filled with education courses on food, getting active and managing blood sugars when you're unwell.

You can also keep track of your diabetes records at home when you register for free with My Diabetes My Way. Simply click on the register button under My Diabetes to sign-up for the first time.  

And whether you'd prefer to chat to others on our online forum or give one of our helpline team a call, we're here to support you.

Other support in Scotland

Visit the Ready Scotland website for information on where to find additional support e.g. National Assistance Helpline, debt advice and domestic abuse.

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