The aim of the present study was to explore access to and experience of care in general practice among patients admitted to hospital with a type 2 diabetes mellitus-related potentially preventable hospitalisation (PPH). Forty-eight patients admitted to two public hospitals in the north and west of Melbourne completed a survey and 13 patients were interviewed. Patients generally had long-standing diabetes with multimorbidity and were relatively socioeconomically disadvantaged. Nearly two-thirds reported more than one hospital admission in the prior 12 months, and 74% of respondents were able to access their preferred general practitioner (GP) on either the same or next day. Emotional support, time and continuity of care with their GP were important to patients, but they recognised many patient barriers to optimal care, including self-management and social and economic factors. Patients that accessed specialist care perceived that GPs had limited role in their disease management. Although the patients in this study experienced good access to care, they also identified several factors that were arguably outside the scope of general practice management, indicating that their admissions to hospital may not have been avoidable.