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Endocrine & Diabetes

Caring for patients with diabetes, endocrine and lipid problems.

This page was last updated: August 11th, 2021

The Cornwall Diabetes and Endocrine services diagnose and care for patients with diabetes, endocrine and lipid problems. These include thyroid, adrenal, testicular, ovarian, pituitary and metabolic disorders and investigating the secondary causes of systemic hypertension. The team also carries out medical assessments for bariatric patients who are having weight loss surgery.

Our specialists include endocrinologists, surgeons, specialist nurses, dietitians and an exercise therapist.

The department is based at the Cornwall Diabetes Endocrine Centre (CDEC), which is located next to the helipad, behind the Royal Cornwall Hospital Site in Truro.

As part of providing the best possible care for our patients, our Diabetes Research Team gives patients the opportunity to experience new therapies as part of national and international research programmes. You can find out more about taking part in research here.

Endocrine and Diabetes Outpatients

We run a number of specialist clinics at CDEC for patients who require input from several health professionals. These clinics include Insulin Pump, Diabetes Antenatal, Diabetes/Renal and Thyroid Eye Clinics. Outpatient clinics also take place in Penzance, Falmouth, Newquay, Bodmin and St Austell.

You can be referred for an outpatient appointment by your GP or your practice nurse.

Endocrine and Diabetes Inpatients

If your diabetes is causing problems whilst you are staying in hospital, we have a dedicated team of diabetes nurses to help control your diabetes during your stay to ensure the best possible outcome and minimise the time you need to remain in hospital.

If you need to stay in hospital due to your Diabetes or Endocrine disorder, you will most likely stay on Grenville ward, our Specialist renal and endocrine ward.

If you suffer from Diabetes and have been hospitalised for a different condition, we have a dedicated team of diabetes nurse specialists who can visit you and assist with control of your diabetes during your stay to ensure the best possible outcome and minimise the time you need to remain in hospital.

Diabetic Eye Screening

We run an eye screening service for patients in Cornwall with diabetes. Our mobile eye screening units visit various venues across the county on a rotation basis. This is a free service and we aim to screen all patients once a year using diagnostic photography specially developed to detect diabetic eye disease.

What happens during the screening?

First of all we’ll give you a simple sight test and then we’ll give you some drops to dilate your pupils. We then photograph the back of your eyes but the camera does not come into contact with your eyes. The photographs are then reviewed by experts and we send a letter to you and your GP within 6 weeks letting you know the screening results.

The appointment will last approximately 30 minutes. Eye drops may affect your vision for a few hours, so you should not drive after your appointment.


Diabetic Retinal Screening Co-ordinator

Christine Ellis
01872 254582

Enquiries about Diabetic Retinal Screening

01872 254674

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need screening?

As a patient with diabetes, you are at risk of developing permanent damage to your eyes, which can cause loss of vision or even blindness. You need a thorough check once a year to detect any early signs of eye disease, so that you can receive appropriate treatment and prevent further damage. However, these changes take several years to develop. If disease is detected early enough, laser treatment is very effective in preventing loss of vision.

Are there any risks or complications?

The screening is non-invasive and very safe. However on rare occasions, you may experience some discomfort in your eyes after having the eye drops. If after six hours you are still experiencing pain or discomfort, you should contact your GP (or at evenings or weekends, contact your local Accident and Emergency department).

How does the service work?

Your GP will refer you to the diabetic retinal screening service and we will send you an appointment. To change your appointment, please contact the diabetic retinal screening office, whose details will be on your appointment letter.

What do I need to bring with me?

If you wear glasses, please bring them with you. Dilating the pupils lets in more light to the eye, so you may also like to bring a pair of sunglasses to wear for comfort in bright light.

When will I have my next test?

If your results are normal, the DRS office will recall you for your annual check up in 12 months’ time. However, in certain circumstances such as pregnancy, you may be recalled sooner.

When will I know the result?

After the screening, we’ll check your images and send your results to you and your GP. If necessary, we will arrange for you to attend a hospital eye clinic for further examination, and possible treatment.

Will I still need to visit my optician?

Yes, you’ll still need to see your optician for your usual sight test and glaucoma check.

Paediatric Diabetes Service

The Paediatric Diabetes team looks after children and young people under 16 with diabetes.

We help our patients achieve optimal diabetes control and optimal physical, psychological, intellectual, educational and social development. We take a child, and family, centred approach, and services are tailored to fit to each individual child and family’s needs.

We have a structured education programme to empower our children and young people to self-manage their diabetes with the support of their families and others involved in their day-to-day care. We also provide Insulin Pump Therapy for those who meet the self-management and NICE guidelines criteria.

Providing the best possible service

Our service meets the Paediatric Diabetes National Tariff criteria and we follow national and international guidance on diabetes care. We also attend the meetings of the South West Paediatric Diabetes Network.

The quality of our service is monitored by annual submission of data to the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA), by performing local audits, and by taking part in the National Paediatric Diabetes Peer Review.

Feedback from our children and young people, and their families, is achieved by taking part in the Patient Reported Experience Measure, which is conducted annually as part of the NPDA. We also work closely with our local parents’ support group, Supporting Kernow’s Young Diabetics (SKYD).

Contact Information

In an emergency

Please call the Royal Cornwall Hospital Switchboard on 01872 250000. If is between 8am and 8pm, ask to page the Paediatric Diabetes Nurse on call. If it is between 8pm and 8am, ask them to page the Paediatric Registrar on call.

Paediatric Diabetes Service office

01872 254567

The Paediatric Diabetes Service Team


Dr Katie Mallam (Lead)
Dr Simon Robertson

Paediatric Diabetes Nurses

Anita England (Lead Nurse, Paediatric Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist and Transition Nurse)
Michelle Skews
Pip Ali
Becky Luke
Ruth Parker
Claire Grose

Dietetic Assistant

Wendy Berks

Lead Dietitian

Gemma Burley


Jo Craddock

Administrator and Data Coordinator

Julie Kirby

Psychology Team

Dr Clare Leather
Abigail Zabel

Multi Disciplinary Clinics (MDTs)

We run a number of clinics across the county. Any child with diabetes will be offered an appointment in a specialist MDT clinic at least 4 times per year.

Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurses

A PDSN helps establish a holistic and developmental approach to diabetes care in patients from infancy to adolescence. We do this by setting realistic objectives according to the child’s age and level of understanding, and the needs of the family.

Alongside other members of the paediatric diabetes team, we coordinate care for our patients and their families. We assess, develop, implement and evaluate programmes of holistic care and providing specialist clinical advice to health carers and others. We use clinical judgement and autonomous decision-making about the specialist nursing care and management of patients and, after assessing a patient’s needs and preferences, undertake a range of specialist clinical actions within a specific setting.

Dietetic Service

As Registered Dietitians, we are experts in nutrition and meal planning. We’ll explain how food affects your blood glucose levels and make sure you’re getting enough food to grow and develop properly.

When you see us, we’ll ask you a few questions about your eating habits and activity levels. But, we are not the food police so please don’t be anxious about meeting with us!

In fact, you may just enjoy some of the things we can do together which include:

  • Learn about carbohydrate counting in a fun way
  • Learn about food and nutrition whilst eating your favourite foods
  • Meet up in school to talk about food and diabetes
  • Talk about exercise management in our exercise clinic
  • Talk about exercise management in an exercise group whilst playing fun games
  • Learn about a healthy, balanced diet
  • Explore different ways to meet your nutritional requirements


Please click here to view our guidelines.

Helpful Resources

You can also find out more about how we care for children with long term conditions, such as diabetes, on our child health pages.

Further Sources of Information on Diabetes

More information about Diabetes can be found on the NHS Choices website and the Diabetes UK website.

Healthy Outlook

Healthy Outlook provides free support to people in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly who have been diagnosed with and find it difficult to manage their Diabetes and are also suffering from anxiety, stress or low mood.

If you would like to find out more about our service visit:
If you would like a referral, speak to your GP or any other health professional involved with your care. They can then make a referral for you by visiting:

Click here to view Patient Information

Diabetes Videos

What are the possible complications when you have Diabetes?

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