March Newsletter 2016



St Helens & District Group

Welcome to tonight`s meeting, we would like to thank Prof Sarah O`Brien, for coming along once again to speak to us! Sarah, who is the Chief Nurse of St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will be talking to us about the Myths and Truths of diabetes. 

We all know that living with diabetes, we are responsible for our own day to day care, but we are all entitled to a range of free diabetes checks every year, these are called the 15 Healthcare Essentials. Whatever type of diabetes we have, we need to make sure that wehave all of these vital checks every year. Take one of the cards from the front and if you don`t think you are having them all, discuss it with your diabetes healthcare team.

Last year DUK found that more than a quarter of people with diabetes didn't receive an annual urine test to monitor their kidney function. In people with Type 1 diabetes, this number is as high as 42% in some areas. The urine test is important, as having diabetes means we are at increased risk of kidney problems. In the early stages of kidney disease there are usually no symptoms, this is also true of retinopathy and neuropathy (damage to the eyes, legs and feet) so the tests are vital to pick up any changes whilst they can still be treated.

Diabetes UK are currently running a campaign called Taking Control, with the aim of making sure that everyone is given the chance to learn about their diabetes by attending an education course. If you have never attended one, ask your GP or Practice Nurse to refer you on to a local one. Or for more information you could phone DUK`s Careline on 0345 123 2399 or visit

If you have already attended a Diabetes Ed Course, and found it very helpful, maybe you would like to help DUK to publicise just how important it is to learn about yourdiabetes. The Campaigns Team are currently looking for someone with Type 2 who has been on an education course, to get involved with the campaign and share their story. This would mean being filmed/photographed, and your story and images being shared widely. If you would be interested in finding out more then go to or you can contact Jess at DUK NW Office by phoning 01925 644 566.

Please help our local hospitals to reduce the number of patients who do not attend their appointments (DNA), this places an enormous strain on the healthcare system in terms of cost and waiting times, and it significantly adds to delays along the patient pathway. In January 2016 alone, the Diabetes Centre at St Helens Hospital had more than 95 patients who did not attend their hospital appt and didn`t let anyone know. This causes considerable financial loss and inefficient use of the time and resources of the Diabetes Centre`s staff. Appointments can often be used for other patients, so if you don’t need your hospital appointment or need to change the date, please notify them as soon as possible by contacting the Diabetes Centre on 01744 646 244 or 245 or the appointments department on 0151 430 1234​.​

Do you suffer from Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN)? I was recently contacted by Ben Davies, who is the Chief investigator for an internet survey investigating the impact of PDN and patient treatment priorities. This study is being organised by the Univ of the West of England (UWE), the Royal United Hospital Bath and the Univ Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. The study has been reviewed and approved by the UWE Health & Life Sciences ethics Committee. If you suffer from Painful Diabetic Neuropathy and would like further details, or to take part in this survey, please take an information sheet from the front, go to or contact Ben on 07527321566.The survey will be running until the end of March.

Would you like to help someone who has diabetes and is doing a masters degree

in psychology? Simon Preece was diagnosed with Type 2 last year and would like to chat to people about their feelings on diagnosis. He would like to compare these feelings with how he himself felt, with a view to using them as part of his studies, (Anonymously of course!) Simon is here tonight, but if you would prefer to chat to him another time, please email or phone him on 07932 781363.

Enjoy Food is a useful new information pack from DUK, it contains recipes, advice and expert diabetes nutritional information. The pack has been compiled by DUK Clinical Advisors and chefs, using scientific-based evidence. You will find the simple, practical advice very helpful, whether you’re newly diagnosed, or just looking for family-friendly recipes or some healthy mealtime ideas. Help yourself to a copy and enjoy your food!

​Do you ever feel that you should try and get more fit? Both St Helens and Knowsley offer Free Exercise & Lifestyle Referral Programmes which aim to promote a healthier and more active life. The progs are aimed at inactive adults and are ideal for someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes recently, or years ago, and wants to get more active and maybe lose weight. There is something for everyone, including Group Based Exercise Sessions, Tai Chi, Gym sessions, Weigh In/Support, Advice, and guidance on the following health related topics: alcohol, smoking, healthy eating and much more. Please note, both courses require referral from your GP or Practice Nurse. For further info, contact Lifestyle Referral Scheme, St Helens by phoning 0300 300 0103 or visit For Knowsley, visit or phone `Activity For Life` on 0151 443 3109.

Diabetes Week 2016 is from Sun 12th to Sat 18th June, This year`s theme is setting the record straight about diabetes. DUK will be aiming to uncover the truth about diabetes; what it’s like to live with it every day, and the things you wish you`d known when you were first diagnosed. DUK would like people to contact them with their diabetes truths; the things you’d like people to know about diabetes, and the diabetes myths you’d like to bust, help us to separate the fact from the fiction this Diabetes Week. For further details go to

Details of next meeting :

Date . . . . . . . Wednesday 6th April 2016, 7.30pm.

Subject . . . . . Coping with diabetes when ill - explaining DKA and HONK!

Speaker . . . . . Suzanne Keigan, Diabetes Specialist Nurse.