People with diabetes urged to book places on free NHS courses

People with diabetes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged to book their places on free NHS courses.

Theme is among a number of measures being put in place following a £1.5 million government investment in diabetes education and prevention across the local area.

The Desmond courses (Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) were originally started for those who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the last year.

The investment means the courses are now open to anyone who has not attended a Desmond course before. They take place at venues across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The courses, which help patients understand how to manage their condition, are set to double in number from 52 to 104 over the next year. They can be accessed via referral from a GP.

The investment means Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has been able to recruit more specialist diabetes staff and will be working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commission Group, local GPs, and Diabetes UK on a number of awareness programmes.

There are also additional places available for people with type 1 diabetes in courses called PDAC (Peterborough Dose Adjustment Course) in Peterborough and DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) in Huntingdonshire and Cambridge.

More than 3,200 people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been referred to free Healthier You classes which support people to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The classes are available in several areas across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Maria Cowell, clinical lead for diabetes at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The courses can make a massive difference to people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. They help them understand their condition and about their diet and lifestyle. Being diagnosed with diabetes is a serious health condition but there is clear evidence that people who learn how to manage their condition don’t have to keep going back to their GP for advice and also reduce the need for more complex treatment related to their diabetes in the future.”

Mark Brookes, CCG clinical lead for diabetes, said: “You can find out if you are at risk of developing diabetes through a simple health check and blood test at your GP surgery. It’s important to do this because if you are found to be at risk, simple lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes.”