‘Living with T1 Diabetes’ event successfully educates and inspires those living with Type 1 diabetes in North East Essex

On Saturday 9th November, over 70 people attended the ‘Living with T1 Diabetes’ event in North East Essex, which welcomed both those living with Type 1 and their carers/relatives. This educational event encouraged attendees to increase their knowledge about Type 1 and inspired those living with the condition, and their relatives/carers, to have the confidence to self-manage their diabetes.

The event took place at JobServe Community Stadium in Colchester and was hosted by North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS), which provides services for over 20,000 people living with diabetes across the Tendring and Colchester area. The event was sponsored by new local charity, the1difference, which was founded earlier this year to increase awareness about Type 1, with the aim of reducing the stigma surrounding the condition.

Adele Holcombe, Diabetes Service Manager at North East Essex Diabetes Service said:

“One of our main priorities as a service is to provide diabetes education to ensure those living with diabetes are able to safely manage their condition on a daily basis. This event was a great way of increasing both patient’s and relative’s/carer’s knowledge about Type 1 diabetes and created the ideal opportunity for them to speak with our Diabetes Specialist team.

Our guest speaker, Kevin House, provided a great example of how important it is to understand how to manage T1 on a daily basis and the complications that may arise from not feeling supported enough to self-care. After the success of this event, we plan to organise more educational events in the future to ensure those living with T1 feel confident that they are able to manage living with their condition.”

The day began with a highly motivational speech from special guest speaker, Kevin House, who shared his personal experiences of struggling to manage his diabetes when first diagnosed and how he transformed his lifestyle to feel in control again. Following this, informative sessions led by members of the Diabetes Team ran throughout the day and provided information on various topics. These included DAFNE, interpreting Freestyle Libre data, hospital admissions, sick days, and pump and technology updates. Relatives and carers were also invited to these sessions, as well as having the opportunity to meet other relatives/carers in a breakout session towards the end of the day.

Local partner organisations also attended the event, including ACE, Provide, Health Intelligence (Retinal Screening) and Diabetes UK, who provided further support by promoting their services and signposting to other local lifestyle facilities.

North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) is an award-winning service which has recently been rated ‘Outstanding’ for diabetes care in the most recent NHS Oversight Framework. The service was assessed in relation to how many patients attended their annual diabetes checks, and the number of people who attend an educational course within a year of being diagnosed. This followed their Diabetes Practitioner, Emma Birbeck, being awarded the ‘Chief Nursing Award’ at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust annual education conference.

To find out more information about North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) and the services they offer, please visit their website.