Over one‐third of diabetes‐related encounters with healthcare providers in Australia fail to meet clinical guidelines. Evidence is mounting that care provision within an integrated framework may facilitate greater adherence to clinical guidelines and improved outcomes for patients. The Diabetes Alliance Program was implemented across a large healthcare district to enhance diabetes care capacity at the primary care level through intensive case‐conferencing involving the primary care team, patients and visiting specialist team, whole practice performance review and regular diabetes education for practitioners. Here, we provide an in‐depth patient assessment of the case‐conferencing process and impact on diabetes management. Two practices with high pre‐intervention HbA1c monitoring and three practices with low HbA1c monitoring provided the sampling frame. Patients were selected according to their score on the Patient Activation MeasureTM to achieve maximum variation, with up to two patients with high scores and three with low scores, selected from each practice. Patients were sampled until data saturation was achieved and then subjected to thematic content analysis (n = 19). Patients mostly described the model of care as a positive experience, reporting a boost in confidence in diabetes self‐management (particularly around nutrition). The program was also seen to be helpful in providing an opportunity to refocus when “life gets in the way”. Other valued aspects of the program included the holistic approach to healthcare, reduced travel time, familiarity in environment and clinical care, top‐down knowledge transfer as well as mutual learning by the patient and their primary care team. Despite this, difficulties in coping with diabetes and adherence to treatment recommendations remained for a minority of patients. Integrating specialist teams within primary care has the ability to provide efficient healthcare delivery, better patient experience and health outcomes. Investment in such approaches will be critical to navigating healthcare provision in order to meet the demands of an ageing population.