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New care hub opens to support people with diabetes in Forth Valley

An innovative new care hub has opened in Falkirk to support and connect people living with diabetes across Forth Valley.

NHS Forth Valley has opened a new Diabetes Care Hub at Falkirk Community Hospital which has been designed to provide a bright, airy space for people living with diabetes to come together to learn how to manage their condition, away from an acute hospital setting.

What will the Care Hub offer?

New group sessions that aim to support local people living with diabetes across the Forth Valley area who require insulin or GLP-1 injections are being delivered within the hub.

People can book to attend a range of groups where they will be able to discuss any problems they have, receive support and advice and share their experiences with others.

These include groups for young adults with diabetes, people starting to take insulin and those already on insulin who may require support with using new equipment and technology, including insulin pumps.

The Care Hub was decorated by young people and teachers from the art department at Falkirk High School, plants were donated by Dobbies Garden Centre in Stirling, and Tesco at Falkirk Retail Park has donated a supply of tea, coffee and biscuits for people attending the group sessions.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant Endocrinologist and Clinical Lead Dr Nick Barwell said the new group room provides a great resource for people with diabetes to share experiences and learn in a safe place.

Dr Barwell explained:

“This new facility will be extremely valuable to our team to help them deliver the ongoing education and support which is vital to help people live a healthy life.

"However, just as importantly, it provides an opportunity for local people to connect with others living with diabetes and discuss their problems, challenges, and solutions.”

Lead Diabetes Specialist Nurse Carolyn Kiddell added:

“We aim to deliver sessions for people with diabetes where they feel more relaxed and able to discuss their experiences of living with diabetes with each other. One young man recently shared his experience of taking insulin and needles through customs as a child and the trauma of all the questions he was asked meant he never visited an airport again.

"Others in the group were able to reassure him that things had changed and that travel abroad with the correct planning was much easier. He left the group planning at trip to Ibiza with his friends.”

The new group room is the latest in a series of support measures for those with diabetes. NHS Forth Valley has also developed a new diabetes section on its website which contains a wide range of information and resources. People with diabetes can also request to speak to a member of the diabetes team and choose to attend face-to-face, video or a telephone appointment.

Special services for people with type 1 diabetes are also provided. These include a peer support, a Facebook community group. Plans to offer an exercise class to help people with type 1 diabetes learn techniques to manage their insulin when exercising are also being explored.

For more information or to book into a local diabetes group can call 01324 566929, email or visit the diabetes section of the NHS Forth Valley website.

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