Pulse check report: Services for people with diabetes

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Kingston, working with Diabetes UK, wanted to encourage Kingston residents to talk about their experiences of services. They sought the views of people with diabetes to help services work better for the people who use them.

The key messages from the discussions are listed below:

  • There were considerable inconsistences between GP surgeries in the way diabetic conditions were being treated and supported. However, where patients had been referred to the Diabetic Day Unit at Kingston Hospital, there was considerably admiration for the support received by patients.
  • Covid-19 had impacted on diabetes treatment, with a reduction in annual eye tests changing to every two years, at least for the period of the pandemic.
  • There seemed to be a “a postcode lottery” as annual diabetes checks at surgeries were in many cases seen as being a “tick box” exercise for the benefit of the practice as opposed to being of genuine assistance to the patient.
  • In the absence of the expected information and advice being forthcoming at surgery level, many patients felt the need to do a lot of their own research.
  • Respondents said they felt uncertain as to whether they were on the right medication or the correct dosage.
  • Annual Review sessions at GP surgeries want useful for all. A lack of proper discussion with knowledgeable practice personnel was the major concern.
  • Having diabetes was a source of continuing worry for many patients. Many wanted to receive more personalised dietary advice and said that currently some of the available information seemed contradictory.

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General details

Report title 
Pulse check report: Services for people with diabetes
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Kingston upon Thames
Date of publication 
Monday, 7 February, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 October, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 November, 2021
Key themes 
Food and nutrition
Health inequalities
Health protection
Information providing
Quality of treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Diabetes UK
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Diabetes and other endocrinal, nutriotional and metabolic conditions

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Asian / Asian British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.