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Conversations of opportunity in diabetes care

02 April 2021
9 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 4


Anne Phillips explores the ways in which diabetes consultations can be maximised to deliver the best effects for people living with diabetes and health professionals involved in their care

Changes to diabetes care due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused extra pressures for both people living with diabetes and the health professionals involved in their care. Virtual and remote consulting has caused many health professionals to experience stress and usual face-to-face conversations with people living with diabetes have changed in context, frequency and delivery. The nuances of non-verbal communication can be lost in virtual consultations, so it is vitally important that health professionals are aware of this and consider how to deliver consultation conversations to the best effect. It is imperative that every contact counts and every virtual and face-to-face consultation has meaning for the person living with diabetes to maximise the benefit for the individual and their circumstances.

Diabetes care has never felt under so much pressure in terms of COVID-19 and the need for face-to-face consultations to become virtual overnight during 2020. This has caused extra pressures on both people living with diabetes (PLwD) and health care professionals (HCPs), especially practice nurses. The iDEAL Diabetes Group published two consultation papers about the 360° view of both HCPs and PLwD, which detail how consultation experiences for both, taking account each perspective, can be maximised (Odiase et al, 2020; Phillips et al, 2020a).

This has never been as important as it is now as we slowly come out of the third COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, with remote working becoming the usual and perhaps new ‘norm’ for much diabetes care delivery. Diggle (2020a) has published useful guidance about effective remote diabetes care delivery and resources for HCPs to access. Additionally, Diggle and Brown (2020) have designed and published a useful flowchart about ‘How to Undertake a Remote Diabetes Review’. This article is about the style of the consultation conversation and how to deliver this to the best effect for both PLwD and the HCP virtually.

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