New diabetes “super clinics” are making access to essential annual reviews simpler, easier and quicker to do for around 200 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with the condition so far. 

The super clinics have been run in the East Cornwall Primary Care Network (PCN) area at Oak Tree Surgery in Liskeard, Clays Practice in St Austell, Bosvena Health in Bodmin and the next planned clinic on Sunday, March 3 at Veor surgery, Camborne. 

The clinics are arranged in collaboration with the Integrated Care Board (ICB), Primary Care Networks, Kernow Health CIC, Cornwall Diabetic Eye Screening programme, Diabetes UK, Volunteer Cornwall, and Cornwall Council.

People with diabetes are invited to attend the specially arranged diabetes clinics as part of their annual diabetes reviews. 

Usually, these annual reviews require a person to attend separate individual appointments, but the clinics bring together nine different essential health checks that are carried out within a 30-minute appointment, over the weekend. 

These clinics speed up the annual review process, saving professionals time and making it quicker and easier for patients who no longer need to attend multiple appointments.

Patients attending the diabetes super clinic receive checks on their blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, urine, weight, BMI, eyes, and feet. The entire process took a fraction of the time typically associated with traditional check-ups and all done on the same day.

At the Bodmin event last month, the NHS teams saw 59 diabetes patients for their diabetes annual review and the team also offered shingles, flu and pneumonia vaccinations to those eligible. 

Additionally, 50 people were also screened for atrial fibrillation (AF), which resulted in nine people seeing a doctor for a medication review and 4 referrals were made to Healthy Cornwall for further health and wellbeing advice.

At the St Austell event, the NHS teams saw 73 diabetes patients for their diabetes annual review with 12 referrals for further support on podiatry and 24 eye screenings.

There are an estimated 35,000 people with diabetes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and patients are encouraged to attend the super clinics if they are contacted by their surgery.

Christine, Peter and Theora were some of the patients who attended the event in to Bodmin. Christine said: “It’s been brilliant coming to the clinic, I was able to do all the tests needed and it was so much easier for me. I don’t drive so I would have had to arrange separate journeys – it’s good doing everything together like this.”

Peter said: “Every part of the event was worth it – managing my diabetes isn’t easy but the advice and support received was really useful”. 

Theora added: “Having everything in one place made the event very worthwhile. I had my bloods, ECG and eye tests and picked up useful advice – thank you”

Dr Chris Reid, chief medical officer for NHS Cornwall, and Isles of Scilly ICB, said: “These diabetes super clinics are a great way for doctors and patients to run the annual diabetes reviews – it’s quicker for our health professionals who can then review all the results together and in full context, which leads to better diagnosis and onward care for patients.  

“The consequences of diabetes being left untreated or not managed effectively is devastating and the delivery of these essential tests can be lifesaving. 

“Everyone who has attended the clinics so far has said they have been worthwhile, and we are keen to develop this approach into wider service delivery in the future.

Claire Bolton, diabetic lead, for Bosvena and three Harbour Primary Care Network areas, who organised the Bodmin event, said: “Delivering the diabetes clinic at Stillmoor Surgery showcased an innovative way to deliver diabetes care as were able to provide access to eight different diabetes tests in a 30-minute appointment improving how we review and minor each person’s diabetes but importantly making it easier and quicker for our patients. 

“It was heartening to see people benefitting from our approach to type 2 diabetes management.”