Diabetes UK, Kent and Medway STP launch new tool to increase referrals to diabetes education courses

A new tool designed to help healthcare professionals boost referrals to structured education courses for people with diabetes is being announced by Diabetes UK and Kent and Medway STP today, 21st May 2019.

The new ‘Improving your diabetes knowledge’ Information Prescription – available nationally from today via EMIS or Vision or the Diabetes UK website – has been developed as part of ongoing efforts to help support people living with diabetes gain better control of their condition, and reduce their risk of developing devastating, life-threatening complications.

Every week diabetes leads to more than 169 amputations, 680 strokes, 530 heart attacks and almost 2000 cases of heart failure, but analysis from Diabetes UK showed that only three in ten (30 per cent) people living with diabetes feel in control of their diabetes.

A diabetes course is a tried and tested way of gaining knowledge about managing the condition in a way that could help prevent or delay these complications.

Diabetes UK is encouraging healthcare professionals to use the Information Prescription to have a useful conversation with their patients about structured education courses, boost referrals to local diabetes courses for everyone living with the condition, and to help make these a key part of the care and treatment people with diabetes receive.

Bridget Turner is Director of Policy Campaigns and Improvement at Diabetes UK. She said:

More than 500 people with diabetes die prematurely every week because of complications. But the heart-breaking reality is that, in the majority of cases, these could have been prevented or delayed with the right support.

Diabetes is a serious condition and gaining control of it can be hard. We want this new Information Prescription to be a useful reminder for healthcare professionals to have a conversation with their patients with diabetes, as part of their care planning process, to encourage them of the benefits of attending diabetes education courses.

These courses play a vital role in supporting people with diabetes to manage their condition, live well and, ultimately, reduce their risk of developing serious complications in the future.”

Michelle Whitham is Diabetes Commissioning Project Manager for Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plan. She said:

We know that education is vital to people living with diabetes and have been working hard over the past two years to increase the numbers of attendees across Kent and Medway.  As well as improving attendance in our own area, we wanted to contribute to the wider ambition of doubling the numbers of current attendees across England, and to offer CCGs the tools they need to drive these numbers up in an effort to reduce the number of complications.  Information Prescriptions are not only an important tool for GP practices, but also offer invaluable information to people living with diabetes.”

Diabetes courses cover topics that help those living with the condition understand it better, such as:

  • Tools to manage diabetes
  • Food choices and how to be more active
  • Medication
  • How to avoid diabetes problems and prevent complications
  • How to make the most of diabetes appointments and getting the right checks (e.g. feet, eyes etc.)

Diabetes UK was commissioned by Kent and Medway STP to produce the ‘Improving your diabetes knowledge’ Information Prescription as part of the Diabetes Transformation Fund initiative – a £44 million programme by NHS England in 2017 to improve care and to reduce the number of people experiencing complications.

The new Information Prescription is the latest template to be added to Diabetes UK’s suite of Information Prescriptions. Each of these is designed to simplify an area of diabetes management and help healthcare professionals and their patients with diabetes work together to achieve straightforward healthcare goals.

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