New report on diabetes education - recommendations
- 9 March 2015
The Diabetes All Party Parliamentary Group published a new report on 4 March 2015: "Taking control: Supporting people to self-manage their diabetes" giving robust recommendations for all to receive appropriate education after diagnosis and for this to continue throughout a patient's life, allowing statutory time off work if necessary to attend. If you are struggling to get such education, read this report, print off these recommendations and take them to your doctor! (This is your web site editor at the launch!)
Here are the Recommendations (not - yet - mandatory!):
People living with diabetes and their families need to learn about their condition in the best way for them to meet their circumstances and preferences. They need education at the right time, in the right place and in the right way.
The Five Year Forward View reflects this, saying that “we will invest significantly in evidence-based approaches such as group- based education for people with specific conditions and self-management educational courses, as well as encouraging independent peer-to-peer communities to emerge.”
However, the APPG has found wide variation in the provision of educational opportunities available and makes the following recommendations:
- 1. The 2015–16 NHS England Planning Guidance should ensure that all areas have plans in place to ensure that all people with diabetes have the skills and confidence to manage their diabetes by 2020. By copying best practice it is realistic for every area to:
Commission convenient and high quality structured education courses and top-up modules for all who wish to go on one when the benefits of a course have been clearly explained to them.
Offer other learning opportunities about diabetes and support through peers, groups, taster sessions and online courses and communities. These need to be made available and clearly communicated to people.
To make this happen, the following steps need to be taken:
2. IT systems need to be integrated to enable better data collection, electronic referrals and provision of patient feedback. These make it possible to ensure wide coverage, increase uptake, and drive service improvement. An electronic administration system can also inform commissioning decisions about location, timings and marketing that are determining factors for driving attendance.
3. Commissioners and healthcare professionals should understand and promote the benefits of education for people with diabetes. This requires healthcare professionals to be better trained in the advantages and objectives of diabetes education and have current knowledge of the programmes available locally.
4. National partners should work together to develop a shared approach to paediatric diabetes education for children, young people and families and throughout transition to adult services. This has the potential to reduce duplication and make it more straightforward for clinical teams to deliver high quality education.
5. The clear benefits to people’s health of attending education courses mean that the Government should give people a legal right to time off work to attend education courses about their diabetes that their healthcare team believe are appropriate to their needs.