Message from the new Group Chair

Hello, everyone.  An urgent message below.

To all members of Guildford & SW Surrey Diabetes UK Group  

Urgent advice from medical professionals 

Dear All, 

As you know, I recently took over as Chair of our Group. One of my responsibilities along with Julie Grist is to be a patient representative on the Surrey Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

From the on-line meeting on Wednesday 25th April, there are two key points that the healthcare professionals would like you to be aware of, or to remind you of: 

·  The NHS is open for business - especially for serious issues.

o if you have an urgent need - including that your private provider, say a podiatrist is not working – then please contact 111, or your GP or go to A&E.

o There is a far greater risk to you of doing nothing in these circumstances, than from Covid-19.

·  If you have been given an urgent / mandatory appointment, then keep it.

o There is a far greater risk to you of missing an appointment and complications developing in these circumstances, than from Covid-19. 

The healthcare professionals explained that their operations are geared to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection by social distancing and the use of PPE. Very few patients are admitted and social distancing rules are being followed and people are kept well away from each other and areas and equipment are sanitised. Geoff Woolley, Vice Chair of the Group, recently had an important eye appointment under the NHS, and he can confirm that all the right precautions to avoid catching Covid-19 were taken.  

Julie and I are not health care professionals; we are here to help you cope with your diabetes and its complications, in what are currently unprecedented circumstances. We consider it is important that you should be aware of what we heard yesterday. If in doubt, you should definitely seek medical advice.  

 Please note that the NHS and BBC have also started publicising this same advice, but we wanted to share the information with you as well.

Regards, Brian

Chair, Diabetes UK Guildford & South West Surrey Group