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Harrogate health chiefs pledge to improve diabetes education as health organisations to receive £50,000 for diabetes care

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.

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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 commitment from NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) comes as it is set to receive £50,000 to improve access to diabetes courses.

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.

Education is vital to diabetes self-management

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.

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.

Dr Bruce Willoughby, Clinical lead for Diabetes at NHS Harrogate and Rural District CCG

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.”

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