"No-one told me I had to get a prescription from the diabetic clinic"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Diabetic medicine

(as the patient),

If you haven't already learned the art of patience, then study it quick, if you have any dealings with the diabetic clinic at Tameside Hospital. From my experience you can be queuing for ages, so take something to read or listen to.

From my experience the hospital doesn't communicate well with GPs and practice nurses, so be ready to jot stuff down so that you can keep your GP or practice nurse updated. I feel like you're expected to know the ropes when you arrive, so just make sure you tell them it's your first visit.

I was prescribed Byetta, but no-one told me I'd have to get a prescription from the diabetic clinic and fulfill it at the hospital pharmacy - I assumed I would just let my GP know that my consultant would like me to start using the new drug. Nope. After several phone calls to the hospital and a conversation or 2 with my GP and practice nurse, 2 months later, I got my prescription. No instructions on how I would be monitored, if at all. Just left to get on with it. I feel that, mostly, diabetes type 2 is treated like a pimple on the nose, a little irritating, not that important, and nothing to worry about.

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Response from Philip Dylak, Director of Nursing, Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust

It is difficult to answer the points raised as I do not know the patient’s name, clinic date or any medical data.

I have based my reply on what normally happens in the diabetes centre. Byetta is prescribable by GP surgeries and this is what we ask most patients to do if possible. The only patients who should need to get a repeat prescription from the hospital are those in whom we are using it in a particular combination. If the patient was unable to get the prescription from the GP I assume that this was the case for them. In such cases it would certainly be part of the discussion with the patient. As with any drug, the consultants have to cover all the usual information - side effects, how to get a prescription, how to report any problems and so on. Anyone given a prescription is told how to get to pharmacy, opening times etc. The Consultants rarely run a pm clinic at the diabetes centre but even in those such as young persons clinics, prescriptions are completed and the patient asked to collect them from pharmacy at a later date.

All our patients have a pink co operative card. This is a patient hand held record on which GP/ practice nurse, DSN and consultant all can write any drug changes, bp, blood results etc. This should avoid the need for patients to write notes. Clinic letters are dictated during clinic and typed up by the secretaries as soon as possible. Reception staff ask patients if they want a copy of the clinic letter.

All patients are greeted by the Receptionist, who checks their details and passes the notes to the clinic nurse. Once the clinic nurse calls the patient they are weighed, bloods are taken, BP checked etc, and then informed of the process of consultation. If they then need to see a specific member of staff e.g. specialist nurse, dietician, podiatrist, etc they are asked by the consultant to sit back in the waiting area. He will ask those staff to see them, they put the notes in our tray and we see them to time order as much as possible. This process may not always be smooth, as again, recently we have had clinics with new staff who do not normally do diabetes clinics. Our usual nurse, however know most of the patients and can spot newcomers ensuring information given appropriately.

I agree the clinic can give rise to waits sometimes, especially if patients need to see more than one professional in that session. If people cannot wait to see other professionals another appointment is made for a later date. This information is contained in the letter for those attending for annual review. However, which also suggests bringing a book and allowing the full morning. Those not for annual review should generally have a shorter wait.

I hope this is helpful. If you have further concerns, please speak to a member if staff in the centre.

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