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What we do

 Diabetes is a group of conditions which cause high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This is primarily because the pancreas (an organ at the back of the abdomen) is not producing any or enough insulin. In many instances, especially where people are overweight, there is also resistance to insulin’s action in many body cells, particularly in the liver and muscle.

We provide:

  1. Specialist diabetes medical clinics, which work with high risk populations (such as diabetes in pregnancy, or renal and cancer patients who have diabetes) to prevent development of diabetes complications and help patients manage their condition.
  2. Specialist diabetes community management and support nursing service, which work with primary providers in our region to support them to manage complex cases.
  3. Our Diabetes Research Centre, also runs clinical trials looking at both new medications for Type 1 and 2 Diabetes and studies the effects of diet and lifestyle choices and surgery for obesity on health

Useful resources

HbA1c Indicator (PDF, 89.4 KB)

 

Hypoglycaemia - What is it and how is it treated? (PDF, 306 KB)

Hypo Action Plan (PDF, 143.3 KB)
Patient fridge plan

Healthy Food Choices (PDF, 2 MB)

Diabetes and Insulin (PDF, 438.3 KB)


Treating and diagnosing diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. We see people with both these types, as well as some less common causes. There is currently no known cure for either type of diabetes.

Read more about Type 1 and 2 diabetes

As part of your first appointment you may have a number of tests for diabetes to either check whether you have diabetes (and what type) or monitor your treatment and manage your condition.  These may include:

Diagnosing your condition

A blood glucose (sugar) test.  
You’ll have a blood test done when you have an empty stomach, so is usually done first thing in the morning before breakfast. Often this is repeated again on another day to confirm the diagnosis.

Glucose tolerance test
If there is some question as to whether or not you have diabetes you may be asked to have a glucose tolerance test.  For this test you have a blood test, then drink a very sweet drink and 2 hours later have another blood test.

Monitoring testing

Finger prick testing
 A very quick test where your finger is pricked, a drop of blood is collected on a strip. This is then examined by a small hand-held machine called a blood glucose meter.  Depending on the type of diabetes you have, you may have one of these machines at home and do your own test daily or a few times a week.

Glycosylated haemoglobin test (HbA1c).
 This is a test that is used to keep track of how your diabetes has been managed over the last 2 to 3 months. You might have 2 to 4 of these tests a year. These will be arranged by your General Practitioner (GP), Specialist or diabetes nurse attached to your GP practice.

Annual check ups

It is important for all people with diabetes to get an annual check-up with your GP. This may include blood and urine tests as well as tests for your heart and eyes.

Find out more about diabetes tests

Treatment

A variety of health professionals work together in our Diabetes and Endocrine service to treat patients and support GPs to manage diabetes in the community. All types of diabetes are treated with a combination of diet, exercise and medications. 

You will receive lots of information about what you can do to manage your diabetes and blood sugar levels when you attend one of our diabetes clinics or an appointment with a specialist.

Find out more about managing your diabetes

 

Diabetes and Physical Activity (PDF, 438.6 KB)

Staying Well with Type 2 Diabetes (PDF, 2.1 MB)

Diabetes & How to Care for Your Feet (PDF, 174.5 KB)

Driving and Diabetes (PDF, 46 KB)
Advice for those with Diabetes and the risks involved with driving from LTA.

3DHB - Initiation of Insulin in Primary Care (PDF, 340.5 KB)
Starting a new person with Type 2 diabetes on insulin guide based on the guide in the 2012 Primary Care Handbook.

What to expect when you come for an appointment

Prior to your first appointment, you may be asked to undergo some further tests before seeing the doctor in the clinic. These blood tests should be taken the week before your appointment.

You will see either a Specialist, Registrar (a doctor training to become a Specialist who works under the supervision of a Specialist).  There are also Specialist Nurses who may be involved with your first appointment and ongoing treatment.

You may have ongoing follow-up in the clinic or have your treatment carried out by your GP with advice from the Specialist.

We are currently using Zoom for follow-up appointments or holding telephone appointments for some people who do not necessarily require 'face to face' time with the doctor or specialist nurse.


 


Referrals

You need to be referred to us by your General Practitioner (GP) and your referral will be prioritised (given a position on a list of other referrals) depending on the type of diabetes you have and how serious it is.

An appointment letter will be sent to you in the mail. Please ensure your GP has your correct mailing address and contact telephone numbers.

Our team

During a visit to the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre you may meet:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Dieticians
  • Diabetes Podiatrist

At our clinics you will see a nurse or doctor. You may also be referred to a:

  • Dietitian, to advise you on healthy eating
  • Podiatrist, for foot care
  • Dentist, to ensure your gums and teeth are well maintained
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist, to help you with diabetes management
  •  Optometrist, to monitor your eyes.

Coming to your appointment

If you can't come to your appointment, please call us on (04) 806 2140 or contact the Booking Centre (04) 8060992 as soon as possible, so we can use the appointment for someone else. 

If we need to reschedule appointments cancelled on the day, you will be booked into a Diabetes Specialist Nurse clinic.  This may mean you can not be seen for another three months.

Please be on time. New appointments take 45 minutes and follow-up appointments 30 minutes. We will see you as close to your scheduled appointment time as possible - if you are late, you will need to wait until there is a gap.

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to bring to a clinic?

Please have with you, when you call or attend the clinic:

  • Your recent electronic report blood glucose results or;
  • Your blood glucose meter and recording book and;
  • A list of your most up-to-date medications of what you are taking.

How do I know if I have diabetes?

Some indications that you may have diabetes include:

  • change in your weight
  • feeling thirsty
  • excessive passing of urine
  • blurred vision
  • slow healing of sores
  • tingling in hands and feet.

If you experience any of these symptoms please see your doctor. In most people there are hardly any symptoms early in the disease.  You are more likely to develop diabetes if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes.

 

Contact Us

We’re based in the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre in the Grace Neill Block at Wellington Regional Hospital

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Phone: (04) 806 2140

Last updated 1 September 2020.