June Newsletter 2016

St Helens & District Group

Welcome to tonight`s meeting, we are delighted to welcome back one of our most popular speakers, Prof Kevin Hardy who is a Cons Physician & Endocrinologist from St Helens Hospital Diabetes Unit. Prof Hardy has been speaking at our meetings since November 1995, and according to our records he has not missed a single year! Tonight he will be answering your questions about diabetes. Please note, this will be our last meeting until September.

New Prog Cards and yearly posters for 2016/17 are available tonight, please help yourself and take some spare ones to pass on to anyone else who may be interested. It would be very helpful in publicising our group, if you could take some to your local Pharmacy, Doctors, Opticians, libraries, Sports Centres etc, please take as many as you can use.

Is there a link between statins, and aching muscles? Many of us take statin tablets to lower our cholesterol levels. Over the years some people have stopped taking them because of a possible link between statins and muscle inflammation leading to pain. At our last meeting Dr McNulty mentioned that there was a blood test which could show if statins were the cause of muscle inflammation, which can cause aching, or if it was simply caused by cramps. If you are concerned about this, then ask your Dr if you can have a Creatine Kinase, or CK blood test.

DUK Big Collection at Tesco, many thanks to all the people who helped at the local Prescot collection last year. The total raised from all the collections in the 250 participating stores in the UK was over £175,000. These vital funds raised through the partnership with Tesco, the British Heart Foundation and DUK, will be used to improve the lives of people at risk of, and those living with diabetes. This year`s collection will be on Fri 16th & Sat 17th Sept. There will be 2 branches of Tesco taking part near us, they are the Widnes Extra Store, which is on Ashley Retail Park, Lugsdale Rd, Widnes, WA8, 7YT. This store is being run by DUK volunteers, whereas the St Helens Extra Store, which is on the St Helens Linkway, WA9, 3AL. will be run by BHF volunteers. If you would like to help at either store please contact Jess from the NW Office on 01925 644 566 or 01925 653 281, or email Jessica.Graham@diabetes.org.uk

Free Health Walks in the grounds of Knowsley Hall on Tues 21st June at 6pm It`s not too late to register for this year`s Knowsley Active Challenge walks. There are two walks on offer which allow you to take in this beautiful, traffic-free landscape at a leisurely pace, you might even see a local red squirrel, a pair of kingfishers or a glimpse of the Safari Park elephants in the distance! You can choose from a 3K or 8K walk (the 3K walk is wheelchair/pushchair friendly). If you have never seen this rural oasis before, don`t miss this opportunity, as it is not usually open to the public! For further details take an application form from the front, or email peter.green@knowsley.gov.uk or phone him on 078100 53984.

Going on holiday with your diabetes will be more enjoyable and relaxing if you plan carefully in advance all the things you will need. Help yourself to one of the holiday check lists from the front and have a lovely holiday!
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Relocation of Smokefree St Helens Hub Last month we told you about the relocation of the Smokefree Hub. It is now open, at Unit 2, The Hardshaw Centre, St Helens, no appointment is necessary. If you need any sort of help to give up smoking, just pop in! Remember, if you have diabetes it is even more important that you don`t smoke. Help yourself to an information card from the front.

We can all help St Helens CCG to save money and reduce drug wastage,  by supporting their Waste Not, Want Not Campaign. It`s simple, just check what medications you already have at home, before re-ordering. Don’t stockpile medication – remember, it will go out of date and can then be harmful. Wasted medicines are costing St Helens NHS over £1 million per year! Only order what you need! Then we can save this money and use it to improve our local NHS. For more info see the cards at the front.

If you have an email address and would like to be reminded about future meetings and any changes to them, please write your details on the form at the back.

Diabetes Patient Education is very important to help you understand your diabetes, and to cope with it better on a day to day basis. We have mentioned previously in our newsletters that you should ask your GP to refer you on to a local course. If, for some reason this doesn`t appeal to you, but you want to learn more about your Type2 Diabetes, DUK now has a comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes e-learning course, which is online and free. You don`t have to do it all in one go, but can do it in your own time. Friends and family can use it too. See the cards at the front for more information.


Can you be a blood or organ donor if you have diabetes? Having diabetes does not prevent you from being an organ donor, but if you wish to donate, make sure your next of kin is aware of your wishes. For further details phone 0845 60 60 400, or visit www.uktransplant.org.uk However if you would like to donate blood, the rules are different – if your diabetes is treated by diet alone or diet & tablets, you can give blood, but if you are on insulin you cannot give blood. This is because the National Blood Service is concerned about the health of the blood donor and how their blood glucose control will be affected by the donation. For further details phone the National Blood Service Helpline on 0300 123 2323 or visit www.blood.co.uk

Hot weather and how to stay hydrated, Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid a day water, squash (sugar-free of course!), tea & coffee all count. Don`t wait until you`re thirsty to drink, that means you`re already dehydrated. When exercising, keep a bottle of water with you and drink it, during and after the exercise. A rough guide is 1 litre of water for every hour of strenuous exercise. Then just hope for more hot weather!

We still have some free DVDs available, that were produced by members of the Patient Focus Group from St Helens Diabetes Centre. The DVD gives a real life view of living with diabetes and lasts about 30 mins. Please help yourself to a copy.

Our next meeting will not be until Wed 7th Sept, when Nicola Cartwright will be talking to us on the subject of  – How your Pharmacist can help you. Nicola is Acting Deputy Head of Medicines Management at St Helens CCG. The meeting will be in St Helens Town Hall at 7.30pm. We hope to see you then! Have a lovely Summer!