Frequently asked questions
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Does GPSI DIabetes take care of my type of diabetes?
GPSI Diabetes takes care of people with any type of diabetes - whether it it type 1, type 2 or any of the more rare ones such as monogenic.
Does GPSI Diabetes take care of children - or just adults?
Absolutely! GPSI Diabetes offers the same patient centered approach to people of all ages with diabetes.
Of course, managing a child with diabetes adds many dimensions to what taking care of diabetes actually involves. So, if you have a child with diabetes click HERE to visit the childrens page and find out more about what we offer to families who have a child with diabetes.
How many appoinments do you recommend?
This is a difficult question to answer. The number partly depends on the type of diabetes you (or your child) has, how much understanding and knowledge you already have and what it is that you would like to gain from your visits. If you were really trying to pin me down, I would say that the minimum number of visits would be two - but, to ensure that you are truly empowered to provide you own self-management for years to come and get the outcomes that you are looking for, I would recommend planning on three to four visits.
Of course, you can have as many visits as you wish. To keep this affordable, many people opt for our Continuity Care Plan (see below)
How long are each of the appointments?
In general, each appointment is an hour. Although this can vary depending on individual needs. For example, if a person lives out of town we may schedule extended appointments to reduce the number of visits needed - or we may schedule appointments in quick succession over a weekend. We even have some South Island or overseas patients who opt for skype appointments.
Do I need a referral to book an appointment?
A referral is not necessary. However, unless you indicate otherwise, we believe in keeping your GP informed of any changes that have been made to your diabetes management. So after your appointments, we write a letter summarising all that has been covered in the appointments and any changess to medical management that have been made. We send a copy of this both to you and your GP. In this letter we make it very clear to the GP that we are happy to receive any calls should he/she have any questions about the management choices that you have made.
What is a Continuous Care Plan?
Following the usual 3 - 4 introductory visits, many choose to have GPSI Diabetes provide continuity care/on-going support for their diabetes self-management. A Continuity Care Plan provides you with regular visits throughout the year so that you can continue to recieve education, support, updates on new technology or medications, as well as have access to a 24 hour on-call service for emergencies.
What are the benefits of a Continuous Care Plan?
A Continuous Care Plan provides a number of benefits
Diabetes is a progressive or changing disease so that management continually needs a tuneup. This may often require new knowldge, new skills, new medication or all of these. Regular visits means you can your self-management skills up to speed with your needs.
Regular visits ensure that progression in diabetes is managed proactively rather than retroactively when things have already gotten out of control.
The diabetes world is a rapidly changing one. New knowledge and new management options are being introduced every day. By having regular visits you will be able to stay abreast of all the new developments.
Everyone has those times in life when things just don't go right - with the Continuity Care Plan you can request additional visits at no extra cost, to help sort out your diabetes in these frustrating moments.
The Continuity Care Plan also provides you with a 24 hour on-call service for managing sick days, equipment malfunctions etc
If I sign up for the Continous Care how many appointments can I have per year?
The Continuous Care Plan provides you with a minimum of 4 visits a year. However, more appointments (at no additional cost) can be scheduled for those times when things are not going well and some extra help and support is needed.
If I have signed up for continuous care can I get all my medications and prescriptions from you?
We are happy to prescribe for all of your diabetes medications and supplies. However, we encourage you to see your GP for medications that are not diabetes related.
Is my GP involved in my care?
GPSI Diabetes believes it is extremely important that your GP remain involved in your care. After any appointment at GPSI Diabetes a letter is sent to your GP summarising all that has been covered in the appointments and any changess to medical management that have been made. In this letter we also make it very clear to the GP that we welcome any contact from them should there be any questions about the management choices that you have made.
How often do I need to see my own GP if I have started continuous care with you?
Your GP is responsible for all of your health - of which your diabetes is only a part. He/she plays a major role in preventative care measures
(eg immunisations and flu shots), manages your cardiovascular risk and ensures that you are up to date with any necessary screening visits (eg retinal screening). GPSI Diabetes encourages you to attend any scheduled visits with your GP.
Can GPSI Diabetes assist with getting a funded insulin pump?
Absolutely. Further more, Dr Janet is a certified insulin pump trainer with over 20 years of experience of managing insulin pumps. She also has as many years of experience with Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems - and is particularly skilled in teaching patients how to read/interpret downloaded data from Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems.
After pump training, do I have to see the hospital diabetes clinic or can I just keep seeing GPSI Diabetes?
In order to continue to receive funded supplies for your pump, you do need to be seen by a diabetes speciality service. This can either be the hospital diabetes service or GPSI Diabetes.
Do you offer Continuous Glucose Monitoring?
Absolutely. Dr Janet has close to 20 years of experience using continuous glucose monitoring systems. GPSI Diabetes does own a Continous Glucose Monitor for use when seeking more information for tighter diabetes control. Alternatively, if you are contemplating purchasing a Continous Glucose Monitoring System for personal use, we would be happy to provide advise around your purchase - and then teach you how to constructively interpret the information downloaded from your monitor.
Do you offer diabetes care during pregnancy?
We have managed a number of patients with diabetes both for pregnancy planning and through their pregnancies. Up until 6 years ago, Dr Janet actually provided obstetric care, delivering many babies both in the United States and in New Zealand. Indeed, prior to returning to New Zealand she was a consultant on the management of diabetes in pregnancy.
Insulin needs change dramatically throughout pregnancy. So to proactively manage the rapidly changing insulin needs, we schedule visits monthly, increasing to fortnightly in the third trimester and finally to weekly visits during the last month.
Do you offer diabetes care for athletes?
Dr Janet has been involved in assisting a number of athletes with diabetes who participate in sport or who are preparing for a sporting event. Prior to completing her medical training, Dr Janet actually completed her undergraduate degree at the School of Physical Education (University of Otago), and completed a Masters in Physiotherapy (Thomas Jeffferson Universtiy, Philadelphia). Dr Janet was a US Squash champion (many years ago!), continues to be an enthusiastic participant in many sports and outdoor activities so she is especially passionate about helping people with diabetes participate at what ever level they are striving for.
Do you offer food, nutrition and dietary advice?
Management of foods, weight and exercise goes hand in hand with managing diabetes. We have extensive knowledge and training around nutrition with a particular focus on how different foods affect blood sugars differently, weight loss management and teaching the skills of insulin management around special dietary requirements such as coeliac or high level sports training.
Do you offer carbohydrate counting advice?
Absolutely. Managing blood sugars is not just around carb counting either, it is also about understanding how different foods raise blood sugars differently so that you can get a good match between what your insulin is doing and what your foods are doing.
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Call 0800 477 434