This summer over 9,000 people joined a conversation on the future of diabetes. They told us what life with diabetes is like now, that living with diabetes is hard, and that the day-to- day reality isn’t always easy to see or understand.
We also heard that there are steps we can and must take, right now, to build a better future for people living with diabetes – and we hope you’ll join us in making this future a reality.
We have brought together some of our tools and resources to help you deliver the care people with diabetes want and need in
- education, information and support
- emotional and psychological support
- care in hospital
- access to technology and treatments.
What needs to change?
“We’ve come a long way in the past 20 years… compared to where we were, it’s bloody fantastic. So let’s preserve what’s brilliant… celebrate that we have made a lot of progress and expand upon that so more people can benefit.”
The people who took part in the project shared their experiences of living with diabetes now and their hopes for the future. They told us that a better future involved many things, but these six things in particular:
- Support with the emotional and psychological side of diabetes.
- Getting the right support from health and care services.
- Easier access to technology and treatments to help manage diabetes.
- Better education and information.
- More support at work or school.
- Hope for the future - through diabetes research and prevention of Type 2.
What do people with diabetes want from their health and care services?
“My consultant texts me every so often to remind to test or take my meds. It's good to know somebody's there."
Education, information and support
- Use our Eating Well postcards to signpost people to accurate and accessible information about eating well with diabetes.
- Use our Information Prescriptions to help your patients understand and improve on their health targets.
“Individuals report a clearer understanding of the concepts and relevance of HbA1c, lipids and blood pressure and an enhanced motivation to adopt lifestyle modification specific to their own needs.” Nicola Milne, practice nurse”
Emotional and psychological support
Diabetes doesn’t just affect someone physically. The effect of varying blood sugar levels on mood – and the relentless need to manage the condition – affects mental health. Fear of hypos is also a constant concern for people with Type 1 diabetes and was one of the most talked about issues at the Big Conversation events and in focus groups.
- Use our Mood Information Prescription tool that gives people with diabetes the information they need to understand and improve their diabetes management and emotional well being by setting goals and talking about how they feel. It also allows healthcare professionals to have this conversation in a more structured approach but still feel confident that they are giving patients the information they need.
- If you would like to change or improve services in your area, we also have resources and tools to help you do just that.
Care in hospital
- Our improving inpatient care programme is helping to make sure every stay in a hospital for someone with diabetes is as safe as possible. At the moment it’s not.
- We have a section of our resource library dedicated to good practice in inpatient care. Find out how hospitals are training frontline staff, managing complications and helping patients to self-manage.
- If you are looking to improve your knowledge of diabetes or know of colleagues who are, use Diabetes in Healthcare, a free online module for healthcare professionals who are not specialists in diabetes but would like to know.
We have also compiled a list of diabetes courses that are relevant to healthcare professionals working in diabetes care in any capacity.
Access to technology and treatments
- Use our technology guides to better understand what's available for people with Type 1 diabetes. Download our guide on Type 1 technology for adults (PDF, 3MB) or Type 1 technology for children and young people (PDF, 3MB).
- If your patients are struggling to access test strips, sign post them to our Testing Times campaign so that we can help. You can also download our support pack as well.
- Flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) is a new technology that has recently been made available on the NHS Drugs Tariff. This means in principle it is available to people with diabetes in the UK on NHS prescription. It is important that healthcare professionals and local health decision makers are aware of the new technology so that they can make sure that people with diabetes have access to Flash GM in their local area.
Learn how other areas have improved by reading our detailed case studies that show the power of service redesign to impact achievement of treatment targets or brief bright ideas that show new approaches to improving care.