Frequently Asked Questions

See here for answers to some key questions.


National data shows that North East Essex is not doing well at managing diabetes compared with other parts of the country. By giving one organisation responsibility for most of the service the aim is to improve quality of care for ALL patients.

One of the targets is for everyone to have an annual review that includes the 8 care processes – currently only 58% of people have this.

What are the 8 care processes in the annual review?

The 8 care processes should be included in your annual review by your GP.

In the 2011/12 National Diabetes Audit, only 58.8% of people living with diabetes in North East Essex had these checks.
Here are the 8 essential checks:

HbA1c – blood glucose levels

Blood Pressure


Serum creatinine level – a check to see if kidneys are performing well

Urine albumin – kidneys – a check for the risk of kidney disease

Foot surveillance

Body Mass Index (BMI) – weight check

Smoking status

The 9th care process is retinal (eye) screening – which will be carried out by Health Intelligence

What will change?

The diabetes specialist team will support GP practices to provide more services in a local community setting, reducing the need for hospital visits. GP practices will provide most of the care and will make referrals, where required, to the diabetes specialist team. Once stable, patients will be discharged back to the care of their GP practice.

Can I still see my consultant?

A consultant will be part of the diabetes specialist team in the community clinics, which patients will be referred to by their GP as and when necessary. Some patients with complex needs will also see consultants in combined specialist clinics.

Will the podiatry service stay the same?

Yes it will. Podiatry will be delivered by ACE (Anglia Community Enterprise CIC) as part of the new service. The podiatry clinics will be at community venues alongside diabetes clinics wherever possible

How many community clinics will there be?

There will be weekly, consultant-led clinics in Clacton, Colchester and Harwich.  Other specialist clinics, such as insulin pump and nurse-led clinics will be taking place in a variety of GP practices on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.  Clinics will be monitored and changed to meet patient needs.

How are GPs going to cope when they are busy already?

We are providing incentives, support and diabetes training for GPs and practice nurses, who will be supplemented by the Diabetes Specialist Team.

Are all diabetes services included in NEEDS?

The services which are NOT included are  digital eye (retinal) screening, renal (kidney) services, ophthalmology (hospital eye clinic), prosthetics (artificial limbs) and in-patient care. We will however have close links with the providers of these services and will make referrals.

Is this about cost saving?

No. It is about improving the quality of care. The cost of the service remains the same.