Health Policy June 10, 2019
People living with diabetes encouraged to share their experience

By News Feature - Accountable Care Journal

As part of Diabetes Week 2019, NHS England in the West Midlands is raising awareness of life with diabetes by encouraging more patients to share their stories and support the national Diabetes UK campaign #SeeDiabetesDifferently.

Recent research from Diabetes UK highlights how one in three people who are living with diabetes say that their condition got in the way of them or a family member doing things they wanted to do. Three in five people report they often or sometimes feel down because of their diabetes.

This week NHS England will be sharing patient stories from people who are living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes using the hashtag #diabetesandme that showcase how the NHS is supporting them to live healthy lives.

For example, 19-year-old Scarlett from Warwickshire, who featured in a film made last year by South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes. Scarlett shared her thoughts and experiences of what it’s like to live with diabetes in a series of videos that were shared on social media.

Professor Vinod Patel, West Midlands Clinical Lead for NHS England (Midlands) for Diabetes, has adopted a 'simple plan' which involves "getting people to focus on learning to manage the things they can control themselves whilst supporting them with the right medication to suit their lifestyle."

Meanwhile, David Spraggett, Chair of NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group added: "It’s a very common condition and one that can have series consequences if not managed correctly. Luckily, diabetes can be managed successfully and education courses are helping patients to achieve this."

The NHS in England is investing in three main work streams as part of the commitment set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to support the treatment and care of people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Further to this, prevention of Type 2 diabetes is being enabled through the use of digital technology and interventions.

Structured education programmes delivered by NHS health professionals are currently offered to every patient within the first 12 months of being diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The 12-week course helps people who are living with diabetes to understand the health risks associated with their condition, advice on healthy eating, education on how to read food labels and information about how to seek further support and advice.

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