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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Belfast area

Diabetes population

The Belfast Local Commissiong Group operates in the same area as the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and includes the whole of central Belfast. 

Treatment in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Generally people with Type 2 diabetes will be looked after by their GP practice team or be referred to a hospital diabetes clinic, especially if their needs are complex, depending on local facilities.  People with Type 1 diabetes will usually always be referred to the local hospital diabetes specialist team. 

Hospitals in this area include the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, the Mater and the City Hospital. The Hospitals have come together to develop the Belfast Diabetes Network and the website provides more information about the services and the healthcare professionals involved.  The hospitals have a range of clinics for different patients.

Psychology Services

Each Trust in Northern Ireland has a clinical psychologist with a specialist interest in diabetes.  If someone is experiencing significant psychological distress which is affecting their ability to look after their diabetes a referral can be arranged via the local hospital diabetes team or via the community Diabetes Specialist Nurse. GPs also have access to local mental health services and sometimes to practise based counsellors who can help people to talk through and make sense of their feelings.

Annual eye screening

Everyone with diabetes over the age of 12 should have their eyes screened, for diabetic retinopathy, on an annual basis.  In Northern Ireland the screening is organised centrally by the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme. 

The Programme will obtain your details from your GP and send you a letter asking you to come for screening in your local area.  It is - even if you also attend your local optician.

If you need to make changes to your appointment you need to contact your GP surgery.

Structured diabetes education

Structured diabetes education has been found to be extremely effective in terms of de-mystifying how diabetes works and offering practical support on how to manage all aspects of diabetes including diet and lifestyle as well as blood glucose levels.  There are a range of different courses available for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes that are designed to meet different needs. 

Type 1 diabetes

  • BERTIE programme is delivered at the Mater and Belfast City Hospitals 
  • DAFNE is provided at the Royal Victoria Hospital

Type 2 diabetes

  • A new programme for those newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is offered at different venues across the Belfast Trust 

 If you wish to attend a Structured Diabetes Education course you need to speak to your GP.

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