Hilda aged 85 and daughter


I am 85 years old. I reside with my daughter and her husband, I suffer with a number of ailments, the most recent of which is gallstones. I have been told by the consultants at the hospital that because of my medical problems I am not really fit to undergo removal by keyhole surgery as there is a risk of me not coming through surgery. I suffer with diabetes, under-active thyroid, diverticular disease, stage 3 chronic kidney disease, angina, loss of hearing, Parkinsons and also osteoarthritis.

I now suffer with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, having tried to control my condition by both diet and tablet. I have had mixed results using insulin. Some days my readings have been very high and I have also suffered a number of hypos. These seem to happen when one of my other conditions seems to be giving me problems.

My diabetes affects me in a way that I feel very tired all the time and I find that I am very unsteady on my feet and really cannot go unattended. My daughter administers my insulin. The medication for my other problems comes in dossette packs from the pharmacy.


Hilda lives with my husband and me and we try and look after her to the best of our abilities. This is not the first time we have encountered suffering from diabetes however.

My father, who died at the age of 70, suffered from diabetes for a number of years. Although the doctors recommended him to use insulin, he resisted this for a number of years as he was of the opinion that this was their last resort. During the final years of his life, my father confided in both mum and I that he wished he had started on insulin earlier as it made him feel so much better. However, he died of heart failure in 2001.

For my part, I find the website the surgery has developed has been a great help and has lightened the strain of everyday life by enabling me to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and to check the results of tests carried out. Also, I can see what recommendations the doctor or nurse have made and the dosage of medications prescribed. I can check these at any time of the day and night if I am unsure of anything and should an emergency doctor have to be called then I cold of course let him have access to all mum’s medical records at the press of a button.

The website makes both of us feel that we are not looking after mum on our own but that we have a network of people we can turn to such as doctors, nurses and support staff.

I would really recommend anyone who is in doubt about the benefits of the surgery website not to worry.

When Dr Hannan first suggested I go to it my first thoughts were “Can anyone get access to my medical records other than me?

Well no, as long as you keep your password safe then like anything else, it’s personal to you. Also you do not have to be a computer geek to get to the information you require. It’s easy to use and once you are used to it, it will save you time and give you confidence to know you can get to a doctor or medical information at the push of a button.

There is also a wealth of further information on the website and I would urge you to have a go and see the benefit it can make to you and your family. 

Hilda & Jean
Received 9th November 2014

Message from Haughton Thornley Medical Centres

Hilda and Jean from Haughton Vale surgery came along to support the Magical Diabetes Event (organised by Louise Brady @louisebrady17 and Susan Mason-Cave @susanmason66) where they presented their views to the audience and encouraged others to join them and work with their clinicians to help feel more in control of their health. Currently over 30% of patients at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres have access to their records and are encouraged to understand their records with the support of all the staff and the practice-based web portal www.htmc.co.uk

Many older people become frail as they get older and are often reliant on their carers and family to support them. Hilda and Jean have described how they have organised their care having been provided with the “tools” and the information needed to help them. They have also shown how the staff in the practice are supporting them so that they can continue to manage at home away from the practice. Our knowledge is increasing so that how people managed their care before, even 10 years ago, is now changing as new opportunities arise. They are not alone and we are seeing many more patients, families and others asking how to do this too. 

A number of practices locally have started offering access to their records too. We are working hard to encourage others to start too. Practices working in partnership with the community to support understanding of healthcare needs and encourage people to adopt more healthier lifestyles is key to regaining the control and for us to support each other. Listen to Eric Evanson, Chair of Donneybrook surgery Patient Participation Group present his views on why this is essential for everybody

We salute all the wonderful people who have come together to share their knowledge and experience so that others may benefit too. There may not be much we can do about the choices we made in the past but there are choices to be made now. Just reading this is a choice you have made and hopefully this will encourage you to move to the next level. 

Words and ideas do change the world….one person at a time until suddenly everybody asks “What’s the big deal? We have always done it this way!”. 

Dr Hannan

Haughton Thornley Medical Centres