Campaigning for change
I started campaigning about 11 years ago when a retired DSN from my local hospital suggested to me that local patients would benefit from a support group. This resulted in the setting up of the Bexley Diabetes Support Group, where one of our aims was to campaign to improve local services as well as raise awareness.
We were asked to join the local Diabetes Network group, where we soon gained their trust and have become valued members of the network. We meet regularly to discuss concerns on both sides as well as ways to enhance the hospital service, and have also been involved in service redesign which involved GP care.
With the knowledge I have gained from 40 years of living with Type 1
diabetes and my involvement with local diabetes services, I’ve really enjoyed being able to share my experiences with Diabetes UK and campaign to improve services nationwide. I’ve become passionate about doing all I can to improve diabetes care for everyone and greatly enjoy sharing my own experiences and concerns to present a service user viewpoint to discussions on diabetes care from the very top. I like to get involved as much as I can; I find it all very inspirational and interesting, as well as being very satisfying.
In the coming year I will continue to campaign to raise the profile of diabetes. One of my ongoing campaigns to is to improve local podiatry services. This followed an accident I had last year when I damaged my leg and feet, and had an enormous problem in trying to get the appropriate care locally.