Blood Testing

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ang78 DAFNE Graduate
Cumbria Diabetes
12 posts

I completed DAFNE in march this year and have reduced my hba1c from 12 to 8.6, still high but am working on it!! I have just been to see my GP (none diabetes related) and asked for some more test strips as I only get one box at a time on my script. He asked me how many times a day I test so I told him, 4-5 sometimes more and he told me I should only be testing 2 daily and rotating test times, refused to up my script and all but told me I wouldn't get the strips to test more often, even though the team put in the letter after DAFNE to up my scrips to 4 pots at a time. Now i'm confused. Have I got this wrong? How many times should I be testing?? Please help!!!


chrisinbrum DAFNE Graduate
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
41 posts

I'm sure other people will give more helpful advice - luckily my GP was more than happy to increase my script after DAFNE and the letter he was sent...but my understanding is that if you're following the DAFNE rules you should be testing at every meal (I do snacks too), before driving (very important, and during long journeys too), if you're ill and also if you're being active. That can add up to quite a few more than the 2 tests a day your GP is telling you.

I'd say you're right and your GP is wrong, probably because they don't understand DAFNE!

Maybe speak to your DAFNE nurses and ask for their help/advice...I'm sure they would want to try to 'educate' your GP.

Good luck! Smile

novorapidboi26 DAFNE Graduate
NHS Lanarkshire
1,800 posts

you need more strips, and the plain facts are that you know why and your GP doesn't.............did he/she get the letter from your DAFNE team.............

If he/she refuses, which they cant if instructed from the specialists then change doctor..........

Type 2 individuals are told only 2 times a day, and I suppose if on a mixed insulin, you would only test 2 times a day as any more would be a waste........

Once the GP is informed and educated everything will be fine.............

JayBee DAFNE Graduate
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
587 posts

Hey ang78, I've been having similar problems and I think it's due to them (my GP surgery in general) somehow getting the idea that we're Type 2s, not Type 1s. Type 2s do not need to test as much in comparison to a Type 1.

Has been frustrating me no end.. Most recent annoyance has been my GP deciding to take all my insulins off my prescription... simply because when I became ill for a couple of days, became hospitalised due to dehydration and on their notes about my insulins, they stated I was self medicating "Levemir". Fair enough you'd think but Levemir is also known as Detemir on my GP listing, so some idiot doctor took BOTH of my insulins off because they didn't understand!

I've also been told that I blood test too much and inject too much! What?!

I'm still even now, after getting my DAFNE team to assist me, to get my previous arrangement back in place AND on repeat instead of just "current". I am aware that my GP surgery are having to circulate their doctors to cope with the lack of staff, but that's not really much excuse for diabetic ignorance...

ARGH! I'd better stop there! I wasn't very impressed as you can tell! LOL ;P
Best of luck sorting out your GP surgery!

Edit: Is it true that Levemir is an insulin used by some Type 2s? Maybe this is causing the confusion (for me anyway)?

maria51 DAFNE Graduate
Frankston Hospital (Peninsula Health), Victoria
22 posts

I just have to say, my heart goes out to you guys re test strips. Over here you don't need a script. I just walk into the chemist & buy the strips over the counter. The thought of testing a couple of times a day makes me shudder. I agree with novorapidboi, change your doctor if he continues to give you grief.

ang78 DAFNE Graduate
Cumbria Diabetes
12 posts

Thanks Guys

The thing is this guy has been my GP for 20 years, he knows more about me than I do!!! He deals with all the Diabetics in the practice and it was him who recommended DAFNE when I ''fell off the wagon'.

I know the practice got the letter from the dafne team because my prescription has changed, all exept the test strips. I'm sure it might be something to do with the fact they cost £25 per pot!!!!! Will have to contact my dafne team I think, untill then i'll just keep emailing the prescription line!!!!

marke Site Administrator
South East Kent PCT
669 posts

Hi, just to back up what others have said. You need to stand your ground with your GP, involve your DAFNE educators and also find your PCT's PALS ( Patient Advice and Liaison Services ) office via and contact them. PALS staff are usually
very helpful and its their job to help you with any issues you have with the NHS. They will assist you AND log your complaint so the GP has no excuse for not acting. I appreciate this would be a last resort as you have known the GP for some time, however it is NOT acceptable for any one in the medical profession to act in such an unhelpful fashion. Its natural to assume its all about cost, however in some cases its down to not understanding the requirements of patients and particularly the DAFNE approach and why its essential to test regularly.

JayBee DAFNE Graduate
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
587 posts

Thanks for the heads up marke, I will look more into putting in a official complaint.

AllanR DAFNE Graduate
Cumbria Diabetes
15 posts

As a side note, not a fix, I always found NOT involving my GP with my prescription was best. Just ask Boots or someone to look after it for you and if you need more or less of something you just ask them over the counter. Think they get paid to handle repeat prescription's so are more than happy to change it to your requirements. Only issue with this is if you have something new to add to it, which they can't seem to do. But for anything you've had before (strips/pens/needs/meters) I just find it easier to drop into the high street and ask them for it than having to go to the GP unless it's really necessary. But follow what Marke and the rest are suggesting in this case, as it seems the GP needs to be updated.

JayBee DAFNE Graduate
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
587 posts

I had no idea that that sort of service was avaliable... always thought that you had to go through your GP to get a prescription only... Sad
Can you still use your medical exemption certificate when you use that route? If I was to go this way, how does the GP respond?
Will they "freak out" like they did about a simple Levemir / Detemir naming, especially if I wanted to add something or change it?

That'll be wonderful if all this hassle was cut down considering I don't have much faith left in my GP surgery (which unfortunately was one that I moved to within the past year because it was more convient - I can't move back to my previous doctors because for years they've not been accepting new patients). Sad