To determine the cultural competence of diabetes services delivered to minority ethnic groups in a multicultural UK city with a diabetes prevalence of 4.3%.A semi-structured survey comprising 35 questions was carried out across all 66 general practices in Coventry between November 2011 and January 2012. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The cultural competence of diabetes services reported in the survey was assessed using a culturally competent assessment tool (CCAT).Thirty-four general practices (52%) responded and six important findings emerged across those practices. (1) Ninety-four per cent of general practices reported the ethnicity of their populations. (2) One in three people with diabetes was from a minority ethnic group. (3) Nine (26.5%) practices reported a diabetes prevalence of between 55% and 96% in minority ethnic groups. (4) The cultural competences of diabetes services were assessed using CCAT; 56% of practices were found to be highly culturally competent and 26% were found to be moderately culturally competent. (5) Ten practices (29%) reported higher proportionate attendance at diabetes annual checks in the majority white British population compared with minority ethnic groups. (6) Cultural diversity in relation to language and strong cultural traditions around food were most commonly reported as barriers to culturally competent service delivery.Seven of the eight cultural barriers identified in the global evidence were present in the city. Use of the CCAT to assess existing service provision and the good baseline recording of ethnicity provide a sound basis for commissioning culturally competent interventions in the future.