Don’t avoid getting help with diabetes because of coronavirus concerns: Newham GPs

Newham GPs are urging people with diabetes not to wait to get medical attention if they need it. Pic

Newham GPs are urging people with diabetes not to wait to get medical attention if they need it. Picture: Peter Byrne / PA Wire - Credit: PA WIRE

GPs in Newham are urging people with diabetes not to avoid the NHS because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The full range of diabetes services are still available in Newham to provide care and support through virtual and online clinics, as well as face-to-face care available where appropriate.

GP and diabetes clinical lead in Newham, Dr Tamara Hibbert, said: “If you are diabetic it is important you do not wait to get medical help if you need it.

“We know that some people are worried they might be a burden to the NHS, or that they could contract Covid-19, but the NHS has put measures in place to make sure patients are seen safely, and often you won’t need to be seen in person.

“We also know that diabetes is a risk factor when it comes to coronavirus, so it is vitally important you don’t avoid seeking help at any time and attend any routine appointments or check-ups.”

Around 134,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in north east London and more than 50,000 are high risk of developing it.

Across the UK, one in 10 people older than 40 has Type 2 diabetes and 4.8 million people live with some form of the disease.

Most Read

Newham diabetes patient Trevor Jowett, 85, was recently referred to the specialist clinic as he now needs to inject insulin.

He said: “I’ve been really happy with the care I’ve had through the diabetes virtual clinics.

“Before I started my injections, I had a virtual appointment where I was shown what I needed to do and had the chance to ask any questions. It was great - I could see them and they could see me.”

Since then, the specialist team has called him each week to check in and make sure everything is going well.

Mr Jowett added: “I also have other conditions that need follow up checks and appointments and it’s been great to have these by phone rather than have to travel into hospital by taxi, especially during covid.

“If anyone has any hesitations about seeking help, I’d say just don’t – they are here to help you.”

Visit NHS 111 online or the Diabetes UK website for advice specifically for diabetics, or if you can’t access the internet, call 111.

You can also contact your GP directly by internet, app or phone to be assessed. Most appointments with GPs are now by phone.