People with diabetes urged to learn more to live well

A new Suffolk and North East Essex campaign ‘Learn to live well with diabetes’ has been launched in Diabetes Week (11 – 17 June) to advertise the benefits of attending free NHS courses which are run by diabetes specialist nurses and dietitians in each local area.

People living with diabetes in Suffolk and North East Essex are being urged to book themselves onto NHS courses which are essential to their diabetes care.

A new website has information about how courses have helped people with diabetes management, the types of courses available and an easy to use enquiry form. Anyone living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes in Suffolk or North East Essex can book a course directly without having to be referred by their GP.

Information leaflets and posters are being distributed to all GP Practices and all healthcare professionals are being reminded to recommend and actively encourage people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to attend a course.

The ‘Learn to live well with diabetes’ campaign is led by the Suffolk and North East Essex sustainability and transformation partnership (STP), one of 44 STP partnerships in local areas covering all of England where NHS and local Councils are improving health and care in practical ways through local collaboration.

National charity Diabetes UK is supporting the campaign. Its Head of Care, Dan Howath, said: “Diabetes is a serious and complex condition which can lead to devastating health complications, such as amputations, blindness and strokes if not managed well. Free education courses, like DAFNE and DESMOND are vital for helping people with diabetes understand and manage their condition better.

“These courses have a brilliant, positive impact, and evidence shows that attending a structured education course can improve diabetes control, and in turn reduce the risk of potentially life-changing complications.”


Lorna Sainsbury, who has Type 1 diabetes

Lorna Sainsbury, 47 from Mersea Island, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 20 years ago, completed the DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Norman Eating) course delivered by NEEDS (North East Essex Diabetes Service) in 2017, which provided her with the skills to count carbohydrates and the confidence to improve her diet.

She said: “It’s amazing that even after 20 years, there is still so much to learn about my diabetes. The course has taught me a lot about carb-counting and it was great to do the course alongside others who face the same challenges as me.”