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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dr Brian Karet

Dr Brian Karet is a GPSI in diabetes in Bradford and diabetes lead for North Bradford PCT – he is also national GPSI lead for the Primary Care Diabetes Society

Dr Brian Karet is a GPSI in diabetes in Bradford and diabetes lead for North Bradford PCT – he is also national GPSI lead for the Primary Care Diabetes Society

What challenges do GPs face when treating patients with diabetes?

Coping with the huge influx of newly diagnosed diabetes patients, and rising prevalences – especially where there is a large population of south Asian patients.

What changes need to be made to wider public policy to cope with the rise?

To move to a more preventive thinking. We need to start in schools and educate children about healthy eating and healthy behaviours, and the need for regular sport and exercise.

What can a diabetes GPSI offer their patients?

More than in any other specialty, there's a role – given the complexity – to do GPSI work as part of a multidisciplinary team in the community along with consultants. It's not a substitution for consultants but given the skills we have, GPSIs are ideally placed.

Do your patients value the care you provide?

Absolutely. And that's not just anecdotal – we've actually asked them and the feedback and patient satisfaction scores are very high.

Are GPSIs the answer to managing illnesses such as diabetes, or do we need better training across the board?

Both. GPSIs are only part of the solution, but other GPs have just as many patients with diabetes and so need to be skilled and aware of how to manage them.

What changes do you foresee in how people with diabetes are treated over the next decade?

I don't know – I will have retired by then! But I think there'll be more focus on patient education, training on how to better manage health and lifestyle, and more work in the wider public health arena.

If you were health secretary for a day, what would you do?

First, I would give everyone free gym membership. Then I would repair the Government's relationship with primary care, which has been ruined by too much interference from NHS managers.

I would also think about closing down the Department of Health – that might make things better.

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