Welcome to our all-new monthly spotlight on an organisation or resource that can help us all in our quest for better health!
Read on for all the details and/or download your personal copy here!
What is it?
Diabetes UK is the country’s largest organisation for support for living and working with diabetes. It offers a massive range of support services and investment in research to improve and save lives with diabetes. It also campaigns for improvements in diabetes care. Its strapline ‘Care Connect Campaign’ puts in a nutshell, its aims and ambitions.
Diabetes UK is one of the oldest support organisations for individual conditions, having started in the 1930s as ‘British Diabetic Association’. It’s also one of the only organisations to have been started jointly by a physician specializing in diabetes and a person with diabetes. These two were, respectively and none other than Dr Robin Lawrence and HG Wells. Robin Lawrence himself had type 1 diabetes and was one of the first to be treated with insulin in the 1920s.
Today, Diabetes UK is the ‘go to’ place for help, support and problem solving, whatever aspect of diabetes is of concern. The CareLine answers questions every day from people newly diagnosed and experienced with diabetes and all ages alike. Living with Diabetes days are held around the country and support holidays are also run. Apps and websites for particular groups, such as teenagers and young children are available. The professionals are equally well catered for with an annual conference and year round guidance, position statements and the all important research into every aspect of diabetes, from how individual cells are affected, to treatments and psychological and emotional effects.
For our particular purposes this month, Diabetes UK has information about all aspects of living with diabetes, including travelling. The link to the relevant website pages is here and you’ll also find it a starting point for a wealth of other information on the rest of the site!
How can it help me with living with diabetes?
As we’ve mentioned, there’s a vast amount of information on every aspect of living with diabetes as well as personal support from the CareLine. Each evening, peer support is also offered, where you can talk in confidence to someone living with diabetes themselves about day to day realities. Importantly, you can become a member of Diabetes UK, which not only helps it campaign on your behalf but also gives you regular updates and the chance to take part in research or help you find the best care and treatment for you. You can also become involved as a peer supporter, on the council of people living with diabetes or in a local support group.
Diabetes UK has offices in all the countries of the UK, so there is something specific for your part of the country, as well as the national organisation which these regional offices makes up.
How can it help me with working with diabetes?
Diabetes UK is an organisation made up of professional members as well as those living with diabetes. Keeping up to date in clinical practice is vital if people are to get consistent, reliable advice from you, so it’s a great source of all the latest evidence. Annual conferences, study days, position statements and guidelines are all available to you. Becoming a professional member also entitles you to a regular copy of ‘Balance’ magazine so you share the same information as people with diabetes, and a dedicated health professional area where you can keep up to date with clinical issues and developments.
Diabetes UK relies on its professional members equally to make up its committees and working parties as well as organize the annual conference, so you can play an important role in shaping and developing policy and practice in the organisation. It also loves to celebrate successes in service development so communication about this is also vital. You won’t regret becoming a part of this key organisation!
Our 3 top reasons to give it a try
1. It’s for people with diabetes and health professionals alike – showing its equal commitment to both perspectives
2. It’s the leading organisation funding research into diabetes in the UK
3. It is the authoritative voice of diabetes care in the UK and deserves all our support to maintain this
Any down sides?
It seems a shame that Diabetes UK does not offer a structured diabetes education programme training of its own or develop a national programme to offer to the NHS. Having said that, it has funded a great deal of research into education and strongly promotes good practice in education and learning.