‘New normal’ for diabetes clinics

A new report states diabetes teams have learnt how to adapt to the ‘new normal’ amid Covid-19 but must re-engage with people who may feel lost in the system.

Since the UK lockdown began in March, outpatient clinics were cancelled across the NHS and replaced with remote consultations. Trend Diabetes examined how things within the health service have changed and how the future may look once it is over.

Consultant Nurse Lesley Mills from the Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust formed a working group of healthcare professionals working in different settings to review practice, challenges and innovation designed to meet the needs of people with diabetes who normally attended face-to-face clinic appointments.

She said: “We think future diabetes consultations will combine a mix of face-to-face appointments with online meetings, bringing together aspects of the traditional service with new technologies.”

The findings of the working group, with input from Diabetes UK and ABCD, were collated in a report, was authored by Trend Diabetes Co-founder and Co-chair June James, who said: “The document did flag up concerns about mental health services and how they may not work as well being carried out remotely.

“But the general consensus is that should the second COVID-19 wave become extreme, it’s imperative diabetes services continue to function rather than being completely shut down again. The ability to operate a virtual service will definitely build in a degree of flexibility to allow this to happen and this should be considered in the design of any new service from now on.

“Overall we think diabetes teams have learnt how to adapt to new ways of working and it is important that these skills are not lost. In many ways they have helped healthcare professionals to streamline services and to ensure that those people who really need to be seen face to face can be seen in a timely manner.

“However, some individuals with diabetes may feel they have been lost in the system during the pandemic, so it is important the healthcare professions re-engage with them when introducing new ways of working.

Read the report HERE.


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