HEALTH experts are hoping diabetic patients will go online to share their positive experiences to help their fellow 8,000 South Tynesiders living with the condition.
Staff at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust are aiming to highlight people’s experiences of controlling and living with the condition in Diabetes Week, which starts on Monday.
The theme for this year is “I Can”, with charity Diabetes UK focusing on the progress made since its inception in 1934, and encouraging people to share their stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Dr Jeevan Mettayil, consultant diabetologist at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, said: “The number of people diagnosed with the condition is rising at an alarming rate, and diabetes services in primary and secondary care are under increasing pressure. However, we know from the feedback we receive from our patients that we are helping to improve their lives in a variety of ways, both at South Tyneside District Hospital and in the community in South Tyneside and Sunderland.”
An innovative service for the borough’s patients with type 2 diabetes, introduced by the trust last year, is reducing waiting times and ensuring that patients are seen by the most appropriate healthcare professional.
It involves an integrated approach by consultant diabetologists at the district hospital, a GP with a special interest in diabetes and the trust’s diabetes specialist nurses.
In addition, education programmes are available for patients.
DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly-Diagnosed) helps people with type 2 diabetes to self-manage their condition effectively by changing their lifestyle through diet and exercise, as obesity can contribute to the problem,
The trust’s trained DESMOND educators offer monthly sessions for the newly-diagnosed at community health venues in South Tyneside.
DAISY (Diet And Insulin to Suit Yourself) is a group education programme for people with type 1 diabetes who are on multiple, daily injections, and is based on carbohydrate counting as well as equipping them with essential skills to manage their condition more effectively.
DAISY 2 is for people with type 2 diabetes who are on multiple daily injections.
Both courses are available to patients under the care of a diabetes consultant within the borough.
Patients with routine type 2 diabetes are still managed by their GP but the intermediate service means that those who require some specialist input but who do not need to go to hospital for their treatment can be seen in clinics in the community.
Dr Mettayil added: “I hope that as many people as possible within the borough, will take to the online sites and share their positive experiences with others.”
n Hitting back at diabetes ... Page 6