Before 2004, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) diabetes specialist team did not provide structured education for people with Type 1 diabetes. A local diabetes specialist nurse (DSN) and dietician designed Skills for Adjusting Diet and Insulin in East Sussex (SADIE) to meet this need. Attendees show improved quality of life and an average HbA1c reduction of 0.5% (5.5 mmol/mol) at one year.
SADIE was recently certified by the Quality Institute for Self-Management Education and Training (QISMET). Achieving QISMET certification provides formal recognition and quality assurance for local services, providing a ‘gold standard’ for providers and commissioners.
The model of care
The programme started as a four-day pilot with four attendees, run in the diabetes centre kitchen due to limited resources. The structure was modified following pilot feedback and extended to five days to cover the necessary content. Outcome measures and regular audit were embedded. As demand increased, particularly with the introduction of a local insulin pump service in 2008, the syllabus was documented and additional educators were recruited and trained. Four programmes now run yearly with a maximum of ten attendees per programme.
- Community venues are valuable in creating a relaxed environment where educators have no competing distractions.
- One to one education or brief carbohydrate counting sessions can increase people’s confidence in committing to a longer course.
- An informal quiz introduced for attendees early in the course can highlight any confusion with the basics.
- Having educators that are committed to the audit process is key for course success.
- Written material is powerful. Asking attendees to sign a pre-course attendance agreement and providing a certificate for those completing the course can increase motivation.
- Think about using social media to increase attendance rates. One previous SADIE attendee started a blog about the programme to encourage others to attend!
I’d never met anyone else with diabetes before - now I know it’s not just me.