My Diabetes sessions – 90 minutes that could change your life

New 90 minute courses aimed at educating people with type 2 diabetes are starting to have an impact across Staffordshire.

Type 2 diabetes, which can be controlled by leading a healthier lifestyle, is one of the county’s leading health challenges. Six per cent of all adults have been diagnosed with the condition, and the cost to the NHS is rising by an astonishing £10 million per year in Staffordshire alone.

The My Diabetes sessions will be held in locations across the county and will be conducted by a diabetes educator.

Sarah Orme, Diabetes Specialist Team Leader for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust (SSOTP) said: “These free sessions are designed to fit in with busy lifestyles and I would urge as many people as possible with a diagnosis to attend.

“Those with a new diagnosis often feel overwhelmed, but the My Diabetes programme will give them the most important information they need to stay healthy. Those who have been managing their condition for many years may find that the latest advice differs from when they first became diabetic.

“Most people with diabetes can live very normal lives if they manage it well. The huge human and financial cost is mainly associated with poorly managed diabetes which leads to complications and hospital admissions.”

Areas covered include:

  • Diet – including the best foods to eat and what to avoid
  • The importance of regular exercise
  • Knowing what you could be entitled to, such as a free annual eye test
  • How to avoid the most common complications which include heart, stroke, kidney, eye and foot problems.

Andy Cowan lives in Rawnsley and has managed his diabetes for over 30 years. After recently attending the My Diabetes session he then went on to attend the more advanced DESMOND course.

Speaking about the courses, Andy said: “With everyone speaking freely, a lot of information was passed over and a range of very helpful leaflets were there for all to look at and take away. The courses allowed everyone to think hard about what they should do as individuals and how they should prepare for the future.

“If you are diabetic, you owe it to yourself to receive help and advice from those people whose job it is to ensure that we have a healthy lifestyle.”

Sarah Orme added: “There is something for everyone on these courses. We have already had positive feedback from patients who have attended the courses and are now planning to attend more advanced courses. I hope more people will come forward and book their free place. The benefits can last a lifetime.”

By 2020 it is estimated that the cost of treating diabetes in Staffordshire will have risen to £273 million unless more action is taken.

To find out more and to book your free place patients in Lichfield, Tamworth, Cannock Chase, South Staffordshire and Stafford Borough can call 01889 572029 between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

For help and support about diabetes call Diabetes UK on 0345 123 2399 to speak to a trained counsellor.

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