Our Services

North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) is committed to providing high standards of care for ALL patients, with GP practices being supported by a diabetes specialist team which is led by a consultant. Our aim is to provide more care across a range of community settings, reducing the need for hospital visits and providing services closer to home.

GP practices will provide most of the care and will carry out annual reviews with each patient. They will make referrals, where required, to the diabetes specialist team. Once stable, patients will be discharged back to the care of their GP practice.

The diabetes specialist team will run community clinics which are led by a consultant. These will take place on a weekly basis in Clacton, Colchester and Harwich. Patients will be referred by their GP for these clinics, as and when necessary.

Virtual Clinic Appointments

We offer routine virtual clinic appointments either by consulting you over the telephone, or via the Nye app (video consultation).


Good foot care is very important for people living with diabetes. GPs will carry out foot checks when you have your annual diabetes review. If your GP has any concerns, then you will be referred for an appointment at a podiatry clinic. The podiatry clinics are continuing to be provided by ACE (Anglia Community Enterprise) as part of the NEEDS service and these will take place locally.

Some patients with complex diabetes needs and who are at high risk will be referred to the Multi-Disciplinary Team in hospital outpatient clinics.

For further information on the NICE Diabetic foot guidelines visit https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng19.

Retinal (eye) screening

Retinal screening continues to be provided by Health Intelligence, which is closely linked to the NEEDS service. Health Intelligence will continue to arrange your appointments for retinal screening. See http://www.health-intelligence.com/

Visit Essex Diabetic Eye Screening Programme website www.essesdesp.co.uk for details of clinic locations and how to book an appointment.

Health In Mind for Diabetes

Emotional and psychological support

If you are feeling low or anxious and would like some support then discuss this with your GP, who can arrange a referral to Health in Mind, which is part of the NEEDS service. If you do not want to go via your GP, Health in Mind will also accept self referral. Health in Mind provides access to emotional and psychological support. Call Health in Mind on 0300 330 5455 or see www.healthmind.org.uk

Inpatient Care

For further information about diabetes support in North East Essex and the inpatient service, please visit www.colchesterhospital.nhs.uk/diabetes.shtml 


The North East Essex Diabetes Service is research active, and regularly participates in health and care research, which helps us to improve NHS care by finding out which treatments work best.

You may be contacted from time to time about taking part in a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) study. If you are asked about taking part in NIHR research, someone in the care team looking after you will look at your health records to see whether you are eligible to take part before asking you whether you are interested or sending you a letter on behalf of the researcher.

You are free to choose whether or not to take part in any research study you are approached about.

For more details about how your information may be used in research please visit www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients For more information on the NIHR please visit www.nihr.ac.uk.


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