by SIMON TEMPLE, Lincolnshire Community Health Services’ Head of Clinical Services for South East Lincolnshire
According to national charity Diabetes UK, there are 3.2million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Three people die from diabetes-related problems every hour and 100 toe, foot and lower limb amputations a week are caused by diabetes.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK and 10 per cent of the NHS budget is currently spent on diabetes.
So, how do we support you locally in South Holland? Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) has a dedicated Community Diabetes Service based at Spalding’s Johnson Community Hospital for adults with Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes normally occurs in people above the age of 40. It develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.
Type 1 diabetes develops in people normally below the age of 40 and occurs when the insulin –producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin.
After getting a diagnosis of diabetes it is important to take control and manage the diabetes with diet, exercise and correct medication.
Our community team’s SPOTLIGHT course helps with this.
The course is held every month at the Johnson Community Hospital and is run in two parts over two months.
The first session is run by the diabetes dietician and covers healthy eating and lifestyle.
The second session covers all other aspects of diabetes management, including advice on taking medication, blood glucose testing, recognising and managing when blood glucose levels go too low and managing diabetes when you are unwell.
The education session is run as a group session, so there is the opportunity to meet other people with diabetes and opportunity to ask questions. Referral to these education sessions is through your GP.
The Community Diabetes Service also supports people who have had Type 2 diabetes over a longer period of time who are having difficulty with controlling blood glucose levels.
Weekly clinics are held at the Johnson Community Hospital, led by the diabetes nurses.
There is also a dietician attached to the service who holds monthly clinics and a GP with special interest in diabetes who attends once a month. Home visits can be arranged for those unable to attend the clinics.
There is currently no cure for diabetes, but with living a healthy lifestyle and having appropriate treatment can mean those affected by it are able to live full active lives.
n Thank you to Sally Johnson for contributing to this month’s column.
Head of Clinical Services for South East Lincolnshire