Diabetes is a serious condition where you have too much glucose in your system. Your pancreas should produce a hormone called insulin which helps get the right amount of glucose into your cells. But for people with diabetes, the pancreas does not do this correctly.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes: where the body’s pancreas gland can't produce any insulin. This type of diabetes usually occurs before the age of 40, and accounts for about 10 per cent of cases.
  • Type 2 diabetes: where the body becomes resistant to insulin and eventually the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. It accounts for about 90 per cent of cases and is often linked with being overweight.

Some of our patients have heart and lung conditions associated with their diabetes, others develop diabetes as a result of treatments for their heart or lung disease, particularly those who have needed a heart or lung transplant. Inpatients with diabetes often find their blood glucose harder to control in hospital and for patients with diabetes undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, we know good blood sugar control helps wound healing and reduces length of hospital stay.

To help support all our patients with diabetes when they stay with us, we have a team of diabetes clinical nurse specialists at both our hospitals.

The Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist Team - what we do

Support for inpatients

The team supports inpatients manage their diabetes during their hospital stay, working closely with other clinical teams to make sure they get the right care. The team can adjust and prescribe diabetes medications to patients, provide diabetes equipment and technologies, give diet and lifestyle advice and link with primary and secondary care providers and cardiac rehabilitation.

Please ask to speak to someone from the diabetes team if you have specific questions or concerns.

Support for outpatients

We run a variety of outpatient services for patients with diabetes across hospitals, including those for individuals with cystic fibrosis related diabetes, patients awaiting cardiothoracic surgery and those recently discharged from hospital.

Other work

The team also undertakes regular audit, data collection and service improvement work and train other healthcare professionals how to support patients with diabetes

Contact us

Email: rbh-tr.diabetesadvice@nhs.net 
Phone: 01895 823 7373 ext. 85186
Bleep: 6280

Support groups and information for patients with diabetes 

Diabetes UK

  • Information about different aspects of diabetes care, available in different languages.
  • Phone: 020 7424 1000 / care line: 0845 120 2960
  • Email: info@diabetes.org.uk


  • Information about different aspects of diabetes care and diabetes prevention for patients living in Northwest London.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust 

  • Further information on cystic fibrosis related diabetes

We cannot accept responsibility for information from non-hospital organisations and websites.