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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQ section aims to answer some of the fundamental questions that you may have about your diabetes if your question isn’t listed here please contact your local GP for more information…

No, being over weight may be a triggering factor for Type 2 diabetes but it does not cause it. Type 1 diabetes is caused by destruction of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Being overweight or eating too much sugar plays no part in a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.

No, you either have diabetes or you don’t! You may be told you have impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes. This does not mean you have diabetes but suggests that you are at risk of developing diabetes and other associated conditions at a later stage. You should be monitored regularly by your doctor or nurse to ensure your risks of developing diabetes are kept to a minimum. It is helpful to stick to a healthy diet, keep to an ideal weight, keep active and don’t smoke

Once you have a diagnosis of diabetes it is unlikely to go away but it can be controlled. Diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes) is the only time diabetes may disappear once the baby is born. However, women who develop diabetes in pregnancy are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at a later stage.

Your GP or practice nurse should refer you for group education where you can learn more about your diabetes from a range of health care professionals including a dietitian. If you would prefer to see a dietitian separately your GP or practice nurse to refer you.

Yes, people with diabetes can cut their own toenails providing they follow the correct advice (see foot care section). However, if you are unable to manage to do it yourself you will need to see a podiatrist.

Both types of diabetes can have serious consequences if they are poorly controlled.

Insulin is another form of treatment for diabetes. It is used in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Yes, that is right. The group of drugs are called GLP-1 analogues. They work differently to insulin and may be useful if you need to reduce weight as well. However, they may not replace the need for insulin at a later stage - see our medications page for more detail

No, you remain Type 2 diabetes treated with insulin

Insulin is injected into fatty tissue not a vein – tummy area, upper outer thighs and sometimes outer upper arm area. The needles are very thin and short. Your nurse will show you.

The nurse will go through everything you need to know to get started including your initial starting dose and it will be written down for you. You will not be expected to make adjustments to your insulin dose on your own when you first start.

Hypos can occur if people are on specific tablets for their diabetes not just on insulin. However, most importantly you will be taught what steps to take to avoid hypos. See our guide on hypoglycaemia for more detail.

If diabetes is not well controlled the risk of certain complications is greater. However, keeping your diabetes under control reduces the risks. If you are attending regular checks with your doctor or nurse, any changes that do occur can be picked up early and treated. Taking regular exercise, keeping fit and active, eating a healthy diet, maintaining an ideal weight along with not smoking all contribute to reducing your risks and keeping you well.

There are local peer support groups as well as education sessions for the newly diagnosed and those needing refreshers. There are also national support groups and charities who provide a huge range of material and information for people with diabetes. See resources section for details.

No, please see the section on diabetes and driving. On starting insulin, yourself and your doctor may need to complete some forms for DVLA, but this will not affect your driving licence.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

 0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.


Phone: 0300 123 3919

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at: 

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.