April Newsletter 2017


St Helens & District Group

Welcome to tonight`s meeting, and thanks to our speaker Dr Niall Furlong for coming along to talk to us. Dr Furlong is a Consultant Diabetologist and Clinical Director from St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals Trust. He will be talking to us on the subject of: Musculoskeletal Problems in Diabetes. 

Please remember our next meeting will not be in the Town Hall as usual, but will be in St Helens United Reformed Church, King St, WA10 2JZ, which is next to Windle Pilkington Hall. This meeting will start with a very short AGM, then DrSid McNulty, who is a Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist, from the Specialist Diabetes Unit in St Helens Hospital, will speak to us about Heart Disease and Diabetes.

At our last meeting, Prof Sarah O`Brien was talking to us about home blood glucose monitoring. Sarah said that if anyone was concerned about the diabetes care they get within the St Helens area, they should contact her with their Surgery`s name. If you feel that you`re not getting all the blood tests, and care listed on the 15 Health Care Essential cards, or if you`re having difficulty getting blood glucose testing strips, and you`d like to contact Sarah, you can email Cherry at rhubarbs@btinternet.com  and she will forward it on to her.

Free health checks and information available at “Healthy in St Helens Event” On Fri 12th and Sat 13th May from 10am - 4pm in Church Square, St Helens, organised by the Rotary Club of St Helens, in partnership with St Helens Healthy Living Team and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS. The Healthy Living Team will be on hand to help answer people`s queries on healthy living, whether it is to support them to quit smoking, lose weight or get fit. Free and fun family activities will take place throughout the event, and those who get checked out will be entered into a free prize draw and balloon race. Along with other charities, we will be having a DUK stand. So come along. For further details email Colin at colin18270@blueyonder.co.uk or phone him on 07767352677. Help yourself to a flyer from the front.

Do you know what your HbA1c is, and what it should be? Everyone with diabetes should have this blood test done between 1 and 4 times a year, it shows your average blood glucose levels over the past 2-3 months. The results have previously been given as a percentage, but for the last few years have been given in millimoles per mol. For most people the target will be below 53mmol/mol, (previously 7%). You should discuss what your target is with your Health Care Professional. Remember, if you can reduce your HbA1c by 10mmol/mol(1%) or more, your risk of Long Term Complications should go down by 25%. For further details take one of the leaflets from the front.

Bob Bannerman has recently had to step down from our Committee due to ill health, Unfortunately he hasn`t been able to come to the meetings for over a year, but I still keep him up to date with how the Group`s doing. We would like to pass on our grateful thanks to Bob and his late wife Mary for all the support and help they both gave us over a period of 30 years! Some of our long term members will probably remember Bob and Mary doing the refreshments at our meetings for years! So thanks for all your help Bob!

Make sure you have a valid Medical exemption certificate. Remember if you treat your diabetes with insulin or medication, you do not need to pay for your prescriptions, but you do need to have a valid Medical Exemption Certificate unless you are over the age of 60.  The certificate needs renewing every 5 years. For more information ring the enquiry line on 0300 330 1341, and press 3, or visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts, or take a booklet from the front.

Maritime Meander 2017, in our Feb newsletter we included the good news that the Prescot Walking Group had chosen our Group of DUK to be the beneficiary of their yearly sponsored walk. If anyone would like to take part, they would be very welcome. The walk will take place on Sat 3rd June 2017, and will be based around Otterspool on the Mersey river-front. The walk contains sections of varying lengths from half a mile, to four and a half miles, to suit walkers of different ages and abilities. They aim for people to complete one section in the morning, timed to meet at the Otterspool Pub for lunch, followed by a second section in the afternoon. All walkers can choose sections to suit their preference. They would like to invite anyone interested to take part in this adventure and help them to raise money. Anyone who is not able to attempt the walk, but would like to join them at the pub for lunch is also very welcome. For more info, email prescotwalking@gmail.com or ring Roy Taylor on 01744 816806.

Did you know that Diabetes can cause loss of sex drive in men and women? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to complications. In some cases, sexual performance can be affected by diabetes. Up to 50% of men and 25% of women may experience some kind of sexual problems or a loss of sexual desire as a result of diabetes. For more information have a word with your Dr or Nurse or take one of the leaflets from the front.

New online service from DVLA, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has launched a new online service, which allows car drivers and motorcyclists to notify them if they have diabetes, go to www.gov.uk/report-driving- medical-condition Drivers can also use this service to renew their short period licence (normally 3 years). This is usually issued to people who treat their diabetes with insulin.

Unfortunately, our new programme cards might not be ready as early as usual, so if you might not be able to come to the meeting on 7 th June, please write your contact details on the form at the front, and we can post one to you. If you would also like email reminders to be sent to you about future meetings please add your email address too, and it`s always useful to include your phone no as sometimes it`s difficult to decipher email addresses!

Details of next meeting :

Date . . . . . Wednesday 3 rd May 2017, at 7.30pm.

Subject . . . Short AGM, followed by a talk on Heart Disease & Diabetes.

Speaker . . . . . . . Dr Sid McNulty, Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist, from the Specialist Diabetes Unit in St Helens Hospital,

Please remember – this meeting will be held in the United Reformed Church, King St, St Helens, WA10 2JZ