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David Nicholson: diabetes education “genuinely life changing”

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Former NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson has revealed that he found attending a diabetes education course a “genuinely life changing” experience.

Sir David,writing for the Diabetes UK website, has shared his own experience of Type 2 diabetes following his diagnosis just over a year ago.

He describes how “meeting others and feeling that you were not the only person facing these issues” was “genuinely life changing” and explains how his own sense of ownership and empowerment it gave was central to his own management of it.

He also shares his more personal experiences of diabetes, including having one fellow participant at his diabetes education course mistook him for a local butcher.

One in 10 offered diabetes education

Diabetes UK has welcomed Sir David emphasising the importance of diabetes education and has highlighted that just one in 10 people newly diagnosed with diabetes are currently offered it. It wants to see it offered to everyone with the condition, as there is good evidence that these courses help give people the information and tools they need to take control of the condition.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is great that David has chosen to speak publicly about his own experience because this will help make more people with diabetes aware of the great benefits of diabetes education and the vital role it can play in giving people control over the condition.

“But sadly, David is the exception rather than the rule and in fact just one in 10 people who are newly diagnosed are offered this sort of education. We think everyone with diabetes should be offered this sort of education and it is unacceptable that so many people are missing out on it. We hope that a former chief executive of the NHS describing them as a genuinely life changing experience will send a powerful message to the NHS about the importance of making sure everyone with diabetes gets this opportunity.”

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