People with diabetes are reminded that medical support is still available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Partners across the healthcare system, including Oxford Health and Oxford University Hospitals Trust, are still offering services, advice, and support for people with diabetes across the county.

These include:

People with diabetes are also advised to be aware of the symptoms of a diabetic emergency. These would include vomiting, raised blood glucose and raised ketones.

If you recognise these symptoms, you should seek urgent medical advice from your GP practice, your usual diabetes team, call 111, or if you’re very unwell call 999.

Katie Hards, Lead Diabetes Specialist Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “We can understand why people with long-term conditions like diabetes may be anxious during the COVID-19 pandemic. Help and support is still available, and we’re still here to help people manage their condition. It’s always important to manage your diabetes, and that shouldn’t change because of the current situation.

“There are support services available like a dedicated hotline for clinical advice, and eye and foot care teams are still able to see and treat you safely. If you’ve been asked to come for an appointment, it’s important you attend – measures are put in place to keep you safe, and receiving timely care is one of the best ways of preventing existing conditions getting worse.”

Dr Amar Latif, GP and Clinical Lead for Diabetes at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is really important that people with diabetes continue to get the treatment they need. I would like to reassure people that although services might be slightly different, we are still here for you. If you have diabetes and experience a change in your vision or have any problems associated with your feet, then please do not hesitate to contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Looking after yourself during this challenging time is important, and can make a positive difference to your diabetes care.”

Having a long-term condition during COVID-19 can also have an impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust can offer support for people with diabetes if they feel that their psychological health is impacted.

Jane Maskell, co-clinical lead for community diabetes at Oxford Health, said: “Looking after your mental health during this challenging time is important, and we understand that managing a long-term condition during the COVID-19 pandemic can be worrying for people.

“There are many resources to support your wellbeing during the pandemic, including our own TalkingSpace Plus service, and we encourage anyone who’s worried about their diabetic health to also contact the dedicated hotline to get medical advice from our specialist nurses.  We’re here to help you and help you work through any worries you may have.”

The diabetes hotline number

The patient hotline number is 01865 857357, and is available seven days a week from 8am until 4pm.  Patients can also email dsnop.ocdem@nhs.net

If patients have a query out of hours, they can call 0300 3047777.

Oxfordshire Community Diabetes Service

Oxford Health’s service covers the whole of Oxfordshire and is staffed by specialist diabetes nurses, who can prescribe medications; specialist dieticians, diabetes educators, and administrative staff.

We are particularly keen to help improve diabetes control and quality of life by encouraging self-management. Diabetes can be controlled and you can lead a full and active life.