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Bucks patients taking control of their diabetes

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People with Type 2 diabetes in Bucks can now access improved support to help them manage and control their own condition through a new NHS programme called Live Well Stay Well from NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Managing diabetes can be very difficult on a day to day basis, which is why it’s really important that people have the knowledge and skills to manage it themselves and avoid complications which can be very serious.Live Well with Diabetes starts with a personal dietitian giving advice via phone or video and offers learning support materials sent by email and group sessions with other people living with diabetes. If weight loss is needed then people can choose between attending Weight Watchers and having one-to-one coaching via the Oviva smartphone app.

The smart phone coaching in Bucks is part of a flagship initiative called the Digital Health London Accelerator programme, designed to bring technology innovation to the NHS.

Dr Stuart Logan, Clinical Lead for Long Term Conditions for the CCGs, said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first areas in the country to adopt this new technology, which gives patients with diabetes better control of their condition and access to personal coaching through their smartphone. But importantly, we are still offering our traditional training courses to make sure people have a choice. We are committed to improving diabetes education.”

Meanwhile, traditional face to face courses are also being offered by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s award-winning Life and Health with Diabetes education service. The group courses are for people with Type 2 diabetes, enabling them to meet experts and other people with the same condition.

The CCGs are among the first in the country to make a new pledge targeting 50 per cent participation in a diabetes education course within 5 years for people newly diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The pledge is part of Diabetes UK’s ‘Taking Control’ campaign to improve education for people with diabetes.

Jill Steaton, South East Regional Head, Diabetes UK, welcomed the focus on diabetes education in Bucks: “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 to control your condition. This is a bold and ambitious pledge. The new smartphone technology is another exciting development. We look forward to working with Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs to deliver their pledge over the next five years and encourage others to follow their lead.”Diabetes UK Service Champions for the local area, Terry Boreham and Steve Adamek played a vital role in getting commitment to the diabetes education pledge.

Terry Boreham, Diabetes UK Service Champion Chiltern CCG, said: “As a person who’s lived with diabetes for 30 years, this pledge combined with the new smartphone app, marks a great step forward in the services and outcomes for those people living with diabetes in Bucks. It shows how important it is to get patients, like me, involved in local decision-making. It can really make a difference.”

Steve Adamek, Diabetes UK Service Champion Aylesbury Vale CCG, said: "It is important for people with diabetes to realise that without understanding how to control the condition effectively, their risk of developing devastating irreversible complications is increased. Diabetes education courses are crucial in helping people manage their condition.”

These services are free from the NHS under the Live Well Stay Well programme as long as people are registered with a Bucks GP and have Type 2 diabetes. There is something to suit everyone’s style of learning and you can ask your GP, or even refer yourself via theLive Well Stay Wellwebsite.

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