Important FAQ for adults with Type 1 diabetes
We are contacting you as you attend the Type 1 diabetes service either at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH), Gartnavel General Hospital (GGH) or the New Victoria Hospital (NVH) in Glasgow. We have some important information to share with you.
Our screening services and routine clinics have been closed down to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. This letter provides information on what will happen when services resume. We have redesigned the way we will carry out our services and therefore all existing appointments at the diabetes clinic, no matter how far ahead, will be rearranged. You should have received a diagram explaining the new appointment system for type 1 diabetes together with this letter. We suggest you look at the diagram and read the explanation before reading these FAQs.
Why are we changing how the South and West Glasgow Type 1 diabetes clinics run?
For some time we have wanted to use more virtual models of care to improve the services you can access. Face to face contact should be minimised whilst the coronavirus is still a threat. Current restrictions may persist for some time and may need to be re-imposed in future.
Sitting in a busy waiting room is not an option so we are planning for most routine care to be delivered virtually by phone and video consultation. The new plan means that your screening results will be available so that you can discuss these with your consultant.
We want to make the diabetes service more responsive to your needs by pooling our specialist staff to enable more efficient and timely responses to crises and queries.
We want to make the diabetes service more easily accessible by using technology that supports phone and video consultations. This will support social distancing which we now have to do in order to comply with government guidance. The benefits to you are reduced travel time, reduced time off work or away from caring responsibilities to attend appointments, and we believe appointments will run more often to time.
Where will the new South and West Glasgow Type 1 diabetes services be located?
There will be 2 out-patient diabetes hubs for face to face health checks and annual screening:
Gartnavel: the West Glasgow diabetes hub – everyone from GGH
New Victoria Hospital: the South Glasgow diabetes hub ̶ everyone from QEUH and NVH
How will this affect me personally?
Any existing appointments you hold from August 3rd onwards have been changed. Where possible we will strive for continuity of care for people who already attend a specific consultant. Your annual review will now be split into 2 separate sessions: a face to face visit for health checks, and then a virtual appointment with the doctor about 2 weeks later. Appointments will be issued in pairs. The first will be a focused face to face visit for the health checks carried out by a healthcare assistant. It must run to time to avoid congestion in the waiting area. You can access your health check results on My Diabetes My Way before you speak to the consultant. Then about 2 weeks later you will have a virtual consultation either by phone or video call with your consultant (see the diagram linked below). Your consultant will discuss the results of your screening health checks with you at this appointment.
If you currently attend the QEUH clinic you will still see your usual consultant at your telephone or video review, but your face to face health check visit will be held at the NVH. The diabetes nurse you may know from the QEUH clinic might change.
I still want to see the diabetes nurse and dietitian – how will that work?
We will be encouraging all of you to use digital methods to share your data from your blood glucose meters, Libre devices and pumps whenever possible. Support from the whole team including diabetes specialist nurses and dietitians will still be available but we have to adapt to social distancing. We aim to reduce face to face contact to the minimum necessary to achieve the support you need, and replace it with phone and video as much as we can. We will also use email for people who are happy to communicate in this way.
I don’t like the idea of a phone or video consultation - will I still be able to have a face to face visit?
If your needs require a visit in person we can still accommodate this in very small numbers and only by special arrangement. If your appointment letter states “VIRTUAL” or “TELEPHONE” you must not attend in person. The doctor may not even be in the clinic.
We are bound by the NHS Scotland guidance on when non-emergency face to face review can restart so this is not available at the moment. We hope you will be prepared to speak to us by phone in the meantime. You may be pleasantly surprised at how this works out. Having a virtual appointment keeps you socially distanced, avoids the need to travel, and takes much less time out of your day.
When will my new appointments be sent out?
We are working hard on these changes actively throughout the summer but we are still waiting to find out when the national restrictions on out-patient activity will be lifted. As soon as we are notified that routine screening and clinic activity can resume we will be sending out your appointments. Please bear with us – the government decides when this can restart. We know many of you have already waited more than 1 year for your screening, and we will prioritise appointments for those who have waited the longest.
What if I need urgent help or advice on my diabetes in between my regular reviews?
We now have hub email addresses that you should use to contact us for advice if you are a person who attends any of our 3 current diabetes services at GGH, NVH and QEUH. These hub email accounts are checked several times a day Monday-Friday. We strongly encourage you to use these to contact us whilst the coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
Gartnavel clinic : [email protected]
QEUH and NVH clinic : [email protected]
Type 1 Diabetes - New Appointment System
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