NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group has commissioned a free education programme for people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) programme has been long-awaited and the arrival has been welcomed by people diagnosed with the long-term and serious condition.
It is a six-hour course, delivered by Kernow Health CIC’s Cornwall Community Education Provider Network (CEPN), and its aim is to help people who have recently been diagnosed and would like to improve how they manage their condition.
The countywide course has been developed as a result of years of research and is delivered by qualified healthcare professionals from Cornwall’s CEPN.
Spencer Wimbleton was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 17 years ago and at that time there was no structured education for people with diabetes on offer. He dedicates countless hours as a volunteer with Diabetes UK helping and supporting others with type 2 diabetes.
The 77-year-old, from Camborne, has been a Diabetes UK volunteer for seven years.
He recently attended a DESMOND session and is urging GPs to make the most of the new service and refer people who have received a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Mr Wimbleton said: “I’ve been asking for a long, long time for DESMOND to be available in Cornwall and to see that it’s finally on offer is definitely a step in the right direction
“I’d really like to see GPs embracing DESMOND and refer everyone who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the past 12 months.
“Likewise, I’d also like to see people who have received a diagnosis to ask their GP to refer them to the course.
“It’s really easy for people to forget that they have type 2 diabetes because people don’t tend to see or feel that they are getting any worse or better. There are approximately 31,000 people living with diabetes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and 1,000 new diagnosis every year. On top of that there are 10,000 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that are living with type 2 diabetes and don’t know it yet.”
Paul Jeffery, project manager for Cornwall Community Education Provider Network (CEPN), said: “Type 2 diabetes can cause very serious health problems. It is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.
“The course provides a friendly, supportive environment and gives people the skills and information based on the latest research to make the right choices to manage type 2 diabetes.”
Bernie Stribling, DESMOND national director, added: “People with diabetes have a demanding condition to manage, yet on average they see a healthcare professional for an hour a year only.
“Structured education programmes are a proven method to enable supported self-care in diabetes. Based on a solid bed of evidence, DESMOND provides a blueprint to maximise the precious contact time between a healthcare professional and their patient – ensuring the person can leave with an agreed set of goals addressing their needs based on their latest test results.”
Mr Wimbleton added: “When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you have a life-long condition so my advice would be don’t keep it a secret, and tell your friends and family and access all the education you can get. It’s also really important to access support from organisations such as Diabetes UK where you can talk to and find out and share tips from people who live with managing their condition every day.”
“If you have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes then ask your GP about DESMOND. More details are also available from www.desmond-project.org.uk, www.cornwallcepn.co.uk and from NICE guidance here.