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DAFNE changed my life and provided me with the educational tools I need to be able to use my pump

Lisa tells why she will keep asking for the 15 healthcare essentials and explains how DAFNE changed her life.

I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 19 (I am 22 years now), and have been on a pump for just over a year having previously been on multiple injections. I have had four children whilst being diabetic and each pregnancy was very different! The pump is quite time consuming and involves alot more effort than multiple injections, I think, but I would not choose to go back onto injections.

I had to fight to get my pump but it has been worth it, although it should be offered readily to those who wish to try a pump and are suitable. My New Year's resolution is to ensure that I am getting each and every one of the 15 'Healthcare Essentials' checklist, as some of these have been missed over the years, and to complain if  I am not receiving them.

My other New Year's resolution is to keep enquiring as to why my local healthcare provider is failing NHS Diabetes targets and generally providing a failing service to diabetics in the area and find out what they intend to do to improve the service.

The only reason I am aware of these checks is because Diabetes UK has increased my awareness.

Lisa

I think regarding the 15 Healthcare essentials my biggest problem is with my HbA1c results as I deal with both in the county where I live and the county who gave me my pump, neither counties path labs will 'talk' as such to each other' and give each other my HbA1c results so I have to continually obtain paper copies to take between each appointment for each relevant county.

This is both time consuming and frustrating and I wish I knew the reasons for this! I have continually had to remind healthcare professionals to do my cholesterol, podiatry checks and kidney function checks. The only reason I am aware of these checks is because Diabetes UK has increased mine (and no doubt others) awareness of these checks.

I have not received high quality care when I was admitted to hospital last year and I actually received incorrect advice regarding my insulin which could have put my health at danger or at worse, given me diabetic ketoacidosis.

Luckily I knew the information was incorrect, double checked with the healthcare professionals who deal with my pump and didn't follow the advice that the hospital staff gave me. I have previously had to fight to get on the DAFNE education course, but this course proved to be an absolute brilliant experience and the dietitian who provided this course was fantastic.

This course changed my life and provided me with the educational tools I need to be able to use my pump effectively. Similarly, I have never been offered emotional and psychological since diagnosis 20 years ago until attending appointments for my pump in another county and at another hospital. It was only when I went to the other hospital for my pump that I realised the staggering difference in diabetic health care between hospitals and different cities. It is really worrying and should not be occurring in 2013.

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