Endocrine & Diabetes

Caring for patients with diabetes, gland and lipid problems.

The Cornwall Diabetes and Endocrine services diagnose and care for patients with diabetes, gland 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 includes endocrinologists, surgeons, dietitians, exercise therapists and specialist nurses including a dedicated diabetes cardiovascular nurse specialist and an endocrine nurse specialist.

The department is based at the Cornwall Diabetes Education 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 because of your diabetes or endocrine issue, you will most likely stay on Grenville Ward, our specialist renal and endocrine ward.

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.

Contacts

Diabetic Retinal Screening Co-ordinator

Christine Ellis
01872 254582
Christine.ellis7@nhs.net

Enquiries about Diabetic Retinal Screening

01872 254674
rch-tr.DESP@nhs.net

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

Consultants

Dr Katie Mallam (Lead)
Dr Simon Robertson

Paediatric Diabetes Nurses

Anita England (Lead Nurse, Paediatric Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist and Transition Nurse)
Shelagh Newman
Michelle Skews
Pip Ali
Becky Luke

Dietitian

Katrina Walker

Psychologist

Victoria Parnell

Administrator and Data Coordinator

Julie Kirby

Guidelines

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.