September 2015 Newsletter

St Helens & District Group

Welcome to the first of our new programme of meetings. We hope you all had an enjoyable summer. We are delighted to welcome tonight`s speaker, Prof Neil Reeves who has not spoken at one of our meetings before. Prof Reeves is a Professor of  Musculoskeletal Biomechanics from Manchester Met University. He will be talking to us about the causes of foot ulcers in people with diabetes, and how he and his team are carrying out research into a system that will measure the pressures on the feet and then try to lower them, hopefully reducing the risk of foot ulcers, and consequently the number of lower limb amputations.

New Programme Cards and posters for 2015/16

Please help us to publicise our Group by distributing some of these for us. It would be very helpful if you could take some and ask your local GP / Practice Nurse / Pharmacist / Optician / Post Office / Library etc to display them for other patients to see. Thank you!

Putting Feet First

Putting Feet First is the name of the DUK campaign that was first launched in 2012. It aims to stop the thousands of potentially preventable amputations affecting people with diabetes. Every week 100 people with diabetes have an amputation, but the shocking truth is that up to 80% of them could be prevented. Simply by knowing about the risks, the importance of having an annual foot check, and the need to seek medical help as soon as any foot problems arise, can reduce your risks enormously. Make sure you know what your annual foot check should consist of, take one of the new leaflets at the front called “What to expect at your annual foot check”. There are also 2 other footcare leaflets, please help yourself so you can try and lower your chances of  becoming one of these statistics.

DUK Big Collection at Tesco

Many thanks to all the people who helped at the local Prescot collection in June. 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 help people lead healthier, longer and more active lives.


Congratulations to St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which has been ranked as the BEST acute NHS Trust for the second year running. The results are from the National Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment programme (PLACE) which asks patients and members of the public to score the Trusts on the following: cleanliness, food, privacy, dignity, wellbeing, and the condition of the hospital buildings. The Trust was one of only three in the whole country to score 100% for the standards of cleanliness at its hospitals. This award follows the announcement in May that Whiston and St Helens hospitals had also been recognised as the best hospitals in the NHS for patient experience. In July the Diabetes Dept at St Helens Hospital was also awarded the St Helens Star People`s Choice Award for the second time. These results show how lucky we are to have such a hard-working and talented team of professionals at our local hospitals!

Do you know anyone who may be concerned about their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes? 7 million adults in the UK are at high risk of developing Type 2. Anyone can check their risk, simply by going to and answering 7 simple questions, it should only take a few mins. If they are concerned and want to talk to someone about diabetes they can contact Diabetes UK`s Careline by emailing: or phoning 0345 123 2399, between the hours of  9am – 7pm, Monday – Friday.

Diabetes UK membership goes mobile DUK has launched a new type of membership. For £3 a month you can receive monthly tailored support and information that will help you manage your diabetes. You can also access the DUK Balance magazine. For further details go to or phone 0345 123 2399

Eating well for Diabetes is a free course for people with Type 2 Diabetes who live in Knowsley, or are registered with a Knowsley GP. It is a 4 week NHS education and cookery programme. The course will be held in Tesco Community Room, Prescot, starting on Thurs 10th Sept from 3pm – 5pm. For further details contact the Community Health Development Team on 0800 0731202.

What do you think of the diabetes care you receive? Natalie Smale would like our input concerning the diabetes care we receive. Natalie is the Influencing Manager for the Northwest area of DUK, she will be working with the local Clinical Commissioning Groups, to help redesign diabetes services and improve outcomes for people living with diabetes. We can all help by answering 3 simple questions:
What do you think of the diabetes care you receive?
What would you like to see improved?
Have you ever been involved in improving care where you live? If so, how?

Please contact Natalie with your views, by emailing or phoning her on 01925 644 571.
St Helens Gateway is a community hub of information; which brings together health, social care and wellbeing services. Simply go to for details of developments, information and forthcoming events,

Glossary of  terms to do with diabetes. Do you ever feel that diabetes has a language all of its own? Every month we will explain one of the most commonly used words or expressions that you may have come across when talking to your healthcare team about your diabetes. This month it is “Annual review”, this is an essential check that everyone with diabetes should have once a year. It includes various blood tests and physical examinations and should also offer the opportunity to talk about your diabetes and any issues relating to it. For further details take one of the Diabetes 15 Healthcare Essential cards from the front.

Details of our next meeting :

Date . . . . . . . Wednesday 7th October 2015, 7.30pm.

Subject . . . . . Living with diabetes for 70 years

Speaker . . . . . Alan Melville, with music by Les Jones (2 of our Group members