Patient Update - November 2020
Thank you for your patience
Since March we have undergone huge changes to our processes. We understand these changes have been difficult at times to keep up with, and are vastly different from the way we used run our clinics.
Thank you for your patience while we have made these changes, and thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to provide us with feedback on how these changes are working for you (both the good and bad feedback). This helps us to review our process to ensure they work for everyone.
We’ve been listening to what you’ve been saying and we have made the following changes:
You will see these changes come in over the next week.
We have opened up Manage My Health (MMH) in person bookings in addition to the MMH Phone consultation bookings.
We have opened up some In-person consultations with our clinicians to be booked without speaking to your clinician first. (Please expect delays when booking an in person booking. If you are needing to see your doctor semi-urgently/urgently we advise speaking to your doctor first so they can book you accordingly). We are trying to get the balance of phone/in-person consultations right, so we will continually review this.
We have reviewed our phone consultation charges and adjusted the pricing, which is determined by the length of your phone call. If you are called and subsequently booked for an in-person consultation, you will not be charged for the phone call. At times, we understand invoices have gone through in error, and we apologise for these errors, so please do query your invoice if you think you have been wrongfully charged.
Once again thank you all for your patience through this time, as our staff have had to deal with constant changes, as well as our patients.
Other changes to note:
The following changes are coming up
Towards the end of 2020 a number of businesses are removing the ability to fax. This means we have undergone technology changes to accommodate this. Lab forms are now done through a centralised online system, which means you will no longer receive lab forms, these will be on the laboratory system for you to present and have your test as ordered by your clinician
We are in the transition of getting prescriptions sent electronically to your pharmacy. At times there are glitches and we apologise if your script doesn’t make it through on the first attempt. We are working hard to get this process streamlined and working well.
Repeat prescriptions can be ordered via MMH (Online Patient Portal) or over the phone.
Just a reminder, we require 48 hours’ notice to complete a repeat script. If you need an urgent repeat script, we require 24 hours’ notice, however, these will be charged at a higher rate.
Supporting someone with Diabetes
Do you know someone with diabetes?
It’s a self-managed, life-long condition, so it’s important for friends and family to be involved in its management. Managing a complex condition such as diabetes can be overwhelming and may result in what’s known as ‘diabetes burnout’: when a person gives up caring for themselves by disregarding their blood sugar levels and neglecting their diet, that can lead to serious health complications. If someone is in a state of diabetes burnout, it can be hard to support that person because they may be in denial and not want your help. It’s important they are in the right frame of mind and ready to receive your support, otherwise you are going to alienate yourself and they will put up a barrier. Before providing advice try to determine if your friend or relative is ready to receive that information. If they aren’t, don’t push it but let them know you are there when they are ready. Here are five tips for supporting someone with diabetes:
1. Listen first
One way to start is by doing lots of listening rather than talking. That way you can gauge whether someone is ready to accept help. Everyone is at different stages with their diabetes. Ascertain where they are in their journey as this will determine how you can best help them.
Don’t assume anything. A person may have had diabetes for many years and still have very little understanding.
Alternatively, just because a person may appear to not be paying attention to their diabetes does not mean they don’t know about it. When you have established a non-judgmental environment with your friend or loved one you can talk about the information you have gathered. You could suggest going together to an education session, a local exercise programme or cooking classes. They may be ready to tackle one, some or none of these suggestions, just hang in there and let them have control of the situation. Meet for a coffee and don’t talk about diabetes at all. You are still offering support, and it will give them the opportunity to open up to you in the future. The most important things are to be respectful of people’s privacy and feelings, and don’t give up.
2. Ask Questions
Ask your friend or loved one about how they are coping with diabetes and how you can help. The National Diabetes Education Program in the US suggests asking the following questions:
· Do you ever feel down or overwhelmed about all you have to do to manage your diabetes?
· Have you set goals to manage your diabetes?
· What things seem to get in the way of reaching your goals?
· What can I do to help? Are there things I can do to make it easier? If you want to be more active would it help if we take walks together?
3. Educate yourself about the condition
It can be difficult to support someone if they are suffering from a condition you know nothing about. Diabetes, like many other diseases, is complex. From the terminology to the medication, it can be difficult to get to grips with. At the very least, make the effort to find out the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and what HbA1c is all about. Knowing more about diabetes will help take the stress out of the ‘what if’ scenarios you may be worried about.
4. Go to appointments together
Ask if you can attend your family member or friend’s appointments. This will help you get a better sense of what their routine is, the terminology of diabetes, and you can ask their doctor or nurse questions during the visit. Everyone’s diabetes is different and knowing about their illness will make it easier to be usefully supportive.
5. Create a healthy lifestyle together
The state of your loved one’s diabetes depends on his or her everyday life - what diabetes routine to follow, what food to eat, which exercise to do, how to deal with stress. If you lead a healthy lifestyle and encourage your loved one to join in you’ll be helping them towards well-controlled diabetes. You can offer to attend an exercise or cooking class with your friend or loved one. Find fun things you can do together such as walking, dancing or gardening. Walking together daily gives you time to talk and stay active. Being physically active is a great way to handle stress. Or you could make a goal of cooking new healthy meals once a week. Include foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Do you have regular lab tests for your diabetes?
As mentioned earlier, laboratory orders are now done electronically. Your lab form was previously sent to you via post, your laboratory order is now sent directly to the lab for you to present for your regular testing. You will continue to receive a notification from your Nurse/Doctor when you are due. Once you receive this notification you can then go directly to Southern Community Laboratories then book in to see your Nurse for review.