Diabetes UK has welcomed a commitment from Harrogate health chiefs, the first of its kind in Yorkshire and the North East, to increase the number of people diagnosed with diabetes attending free education courses. Diabetes education courses help people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to understand their condition, make informed lifestyle choices and feel more in control of their diabetes.
The funding is part of a £42 million investment by NHS England, which has worked with Diabetes UK to identify four top priorities to raise standards of treatment and care for people with diabetes.
The aim is that by 2022, over half of people with diabetes will attend a structured education course within one year of diagnosis. The CCG, which is working in partnership with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust which will deliver the courses, is pledging to offer adults who are already living with diabetes the opportunity to also attend a structured education programme.
People with diabetes typically see a healthcare professional for just a few hours a year and self-manage their condition the rest of the time. Successful self-management can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications such as amputation, heart attack, stroke, kidney problems and blindness.
Educational courses for people with diabetes in Harrogate include DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating), a gold standard education programme for people with Type 1 Diabetes, delivered in a small group setting. It teaches participants useful self-management skills, including how to calculate the right insulin dose for each meal. Also available is HARRIET (HARRogate Initiative providing Education about Type 2 diabetes), which is an evidence-based programme for people with Type 2 diabetes delivered in a group setting. It covers topics such as food and lifestyle choices, and equips people with the skills and knowledge to manage their diabetes. These courses are delivered by the specialist diabetes team at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Bruce Willoughby, Clinical lead for Diabetes at NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Reducing the impact of diabetes is recognised by our CCG as a priority area. We know we need to prevent more people from developing diabetes and also ensure those patients with diabetes have better outcomes. Ensuring that more people with diabetes are able to access structured education will help achieve this.”
Jodie Roberts, General Manager for Long Term Conditions, Elderly Care and Community Services at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust has a dedicated and passionate Diabetes Team who are committed to improving the lives of people with diabetes. We believe that structured education is key to achieving this. The team are delighted to have this opportunity to improve access for the population of Harrogate.”
Rachel Martin, Improving Care Manager, Diabetes UK, welcomed the decision by Harrogate CCG to focus on diabetes education. She said: “Diabetes education courses make living with diabetes easier. When you are newly diagnosed, it can feel like there is a lot to learn but attending a course can really help you understand what diabetes is and how it affects your body.
“We have found that people who have been on a course feel more confident about looking after their condition and are less likely to suffer complications. Diabetes education can be life-changing and it is essential that people with diabetes have access to it. This is a bold and ambitious pledge, we look forward to working with Harrogate and Rural District CCG and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.”
To find out more about diabetes education visit: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/education and https://www.hdft.nhs.uk/diabeteseducation
For urgent out of hours media enquiries only please call 07711 176028. ISDN facilities available.
Notes to editors:
- Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm. Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK – more than dementia and cancer combined. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life. For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit diabetes.org.uk
- Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
- People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.
- People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). 85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.