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Improving diabetes care in the South East Coast and London

4 people gathered around a table having a meeting

Our Health Systems Engagement Lead and two Health Systems Engagement Managers work together, along with the Regional Head, to improve diabetes care across our region, here in the South East Coast and London.

We deliver Diabetes UK’s national campaigns at a local level, and work closely local health care professionals and commissioners. Together we aim to support and influence improvements in diabetes care.

This includes helping everyone to receive the same standard of healthcare, regardless of where they live.

We work with other team members to reach local communities and ensure that the experiences of people living with and at risk of diabetes are central to the work we do.

Would you like to work with us? Are you based in Greater London, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex or Kent and Medway? Get in touch at

Our Projects

Working to make a difference in Waltham Forest - visit our Waltham Forest Hub!

Lorna at Whipps Cross Hospital
Health Systems Engagement Manager Lorna Adamson

Since 2023 we've been joining forces with healthcare professionals on diabetes-related projects in Waltham Forest. We have also been engaging with residents, having held successful awareness events during 2023, with more planned for 2024.

The National Diabetes Audit (2021/22) tells us that fewer than half of residents living with type 1 diabetes received all the care processes they are entitled to (such as HbA1c, cholesterol and foot checks). In some parts of Waltham Forest, this figure dips to fewer than 1 in 10 people.

For people living with type 2 diabetes the overall figures are a little higher but there are still as many as 4 in 5 people in some areas not accessing all the care they are entitled to receive.

We've been building our relationships with diverse ethnic communities in the borough and working with community organisations by attending events, visiting places of worship, and offering online resources to ensure more people are aware of their risk of developing diabetes, as well as encouraging better self-care for those living with diabetes.

We've been renewing our links with existing volunteers and looking to recruit new volunteers. Together, they will offer peer support, give talks and run information stands and events.

Find out more about what we’ve been up to, and what we have coming up, in Waltham Forest here.

Helping Thanet access better diabetes care - visit our Thanet Hub!

Margate old town with Charlotte reading a paper
Catching up with the news in Margate

Since January 2023, team members have been regularly traveling to Thanet to meet with health board leaders and healthcare professionals, learn about the area and help overcome some of the challenges facing people who live with diabetes.

Residents are less likely than their neighbours in other parts of Kent to receive all the care they are entitled to, such as HbA1c checks (according to NDA data). It’s also an area with above average amputation rates and has areas of social deprivation linked to a range of health inequalities.

We have identified some specific challenges. Traveller communities have poorer outcomes than the general population. Also, the Primary Care Networks have highlighted that people with learning difficulties can find it difficult to access information and healthcare in appropriate forms.

While these problems exist in other areas as well, they are exacerbated in Thanet because of poverty and also a lower-than-average ratio of GPs to patients.​

Team members are also busy working with the local communities and community organisations – we're regularly out and about, attending events and offering our range of online support.

By the end of the year, we aim to have recruited five new events volunteers, five new speaker volunteers and at least one community champion.

We are also very grateful that our own Central Health Systems Team is spending some time in Thanet, working to improve footcare for people living with diabetes.

Across the South East Coast and London we have been looking for potential Young Leaders to develop peer support initiatives for young people with type 1 diabetes as part of the Steve Morgan Foundation programme.

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