The new scheme is intended to help islanders manage their health and avoid complications that can come as a result of the condition, which can affect the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
During the 30-minute appointment, a nurse will carry out tests such as a blood test, foot checks, blood pressure and BMI. Without regular checks, diabetes patients can be at risk of losing limbs due to wounds or ulcers that do not heal.
Clinical governance and nursing lead Nicki Van Schalwyk said more people were becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of type one and two diabetes.
‘More people are aware of the signs and the lifestyle choices that can lead to having diabetes, younger people especially.’
About 3,000 people in Guernsey have diabetes, which equates to 5% of the population.
‘It’s not a rushed environment so people can actually speak about what they want to talk about – it might be mental health issues or other issues they’re having,’ said Mrs Van Schalwyk.
The nurse will be able to give advice about diet and give information about services that could helpful, like stop smoking services and other educational classes.
Before the scheme was introduced, people would have to pay the cost of a doctor’s appointment – which currently stands at £56.
Public Health practitioner Diane Mathews said removing the cost had encouraged more people to attend their regular check ups.
‘The best feedback we have had is people telling us they haven’t been in years who have now started going,’ she said.
‘When diabetes is poorly controlled it can lead to serious complications for the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
‘An annual check helps a person manage their diabetes and hopefully avoid these complications.’
In the UK about 5m. people have diabetes. The NHS spends at least £10 billion a year on diabetes – about 10% of its entire budget.
Almost 80% of the money the NHS spends on diabetes is on treating complications.
Charity Diabetes UK states the condition leads to about 9,600 leg, toe or foot amputations every year in the UK, and more than 700 people with diabetes die prematurely every week.
Eligible islanders do not need to contact their surgery until they have received an invitation letter from their doctor.