Getting an annual flu jab from the GP and help with sexual difficulties have been added to a checklist of services patients with diabetes should expect.
The list of 15 essential checks and services diabetes patients should get as a minimum has been drawn up by Diabetes UK.
It is designed to help patients discuss their individual needs with their healthcare team.
People with diabetes are at greater risk of severe illnesses, such as pneumonia, so the charity said the free annual flu vaccination at the GP’s surgery was essential.
Diabetes also increases the likelihood of sexual dysfunction for men and women with diabetes.
This can be caused by their medication or physical, emotional or lifestyle factors.
Simon O’ Neill, the charity’s director of healthcare intelligence said: “Getting the flu jab could save your life if you have diabetes, and being able to talk about any sexual problems you are encountering as a result of your diabetes and asking for help with this is something that everyone should feel confident and comfortable in doing.”
The list also includes annual checks of the skin circulation and have their feet and legs checked by a practice nurse or GP, blood pressure measurements at least once a year and personalised dietary care.
Patients should also be offered a group education course when they are diagnosed with the condition, or a yearly refresher to help them understand and manage their condition.
They should be offered an alternative if they are unable to attend, or would rather not.
The checklist also includes the need for emotional and psychological support from specialist healthcare professionals to help them adapt to the condition.
Smokers should also get support and advice on quitting the habit as smoking exacerbates their risk of heart disease and stroke, which is already increased due to diabetes.
Pregnant patients should also get specialist help.
The detailed list is available here