ObBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate perceptions regarding current practices in the care of diabetic inpatients as well as the knowledge and attitudes of nursing and medical caregivers at a large secondary hospital. DESIGN AND METHODS: Doctors and nurses taking care of diabetic inpatients were surveyed to assess their knowledge of diabetes inpatient management and their attitudes towards diabetic patients. The survey made use of the diabetes knowledge questionnaire (O'Brien) and the DAS3 scale. RESULTS: The survey group comprised 115 health care providers, of whom 54 were doctors and 61 were nurses. The response rate was 82%. The doctors achieved a mean score of 68.3% (standard deviation (SD) 11.5%) and the nurses 53.9% (SD 16.3%) for the diabetes knowledge questionnaire. The DAS3 questionnaire indicated that 80.9% of health care personnel strongly agree that special training for managing diabetic patients is necessary, 90.5% agree or strongly agree that type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, 92.2% agree or strongly agree that tight glycaemic control is valuable, 85.2% agree or strongly agree that diabetes has a significant psychosocial impact on patients, and 88.7% agree or strongly agree that patients should have autonomy regarding their treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Health care workers (doctors and nurses) in a large secondary hospital have average to poor knowledge about the care of diabetic inpatients. The DAS3 questionnaire, however, indicates that health care workers have a good attitude towards diabetic patients and realise that special training is necessary.