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New online tools for people living with diabetes in the East Midlands are now available on the NHS to help people manage their condition during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new services have been launched on top of a package of measures already in place for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes, including the world-leading Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which has already successfully helped almost 90,000 people who were at risk of type 2, to lose a combined weight of more than 407,967 pounds.
The three new online services will allow people to manage their condition online, with a range of online videos and training available on each app for children and adults.
Recent findings show that people with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19 but better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.
NHS investment in the technology means that patients will be offered advice on treatment and care, as well as training to adopt healthy behaviours on diet and exercise.
This remote support will complement patients’ appointments, many of which have been going ahead throughout the pandemic, through video consultations or via telephone, and more recently in COVID protected areas.
People living with Type 1 diabetes can access the following technology from today:
- Digibete: Children and young people with Type 1 diabetes and their families will be able to use the DigiBete App and website for a wide range of awareness, education, training and support resources.
- MyType1Diabetes: Adults with Type 1 diabetes can access the service directly by visiting myType1diabetes.nhs.uk, it includes videos and eLearning courses, to help people understand more about their Type 1 diabetes and increase their confidence in how to manage it.
People with Type 2 will be able to access the following from later this year:
- Healthy Living for people with Type 2 diabetes: The platform provides users with the skills and knowledge to manage their Type 2 diabetes effectively, including advice on emotional and mental wellbeing, and helps users adopt and maintain healthy behaviours around diet and exercise.
Online appointments, routine discussions with GPs and a dedicated helpline for those treated with insulin are among a range of measures that the NHS has already adopted so that diabetes care can go ahead as normal. The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is also being delivered remotely using platforms such as Microsoft Teams to continue to help those at risk of Type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk.
A man who has lost more than 20 kilos through a Diabetes Prevention Programme is urging people to stay healthy during the lockdown. Michael Horton, who is 42 and from Newark, has lost more than 20 kilos through the Diabetes Prevention Programme. His GP referred him to his local Healthier You service. The programme, run in the East Midlands by Ingeus, puts people’s health back in their hands by supporting them to make changes to diet, weight and physical activity to combat the risk of developing Type 2.
Now, feeling more energetic after losing seven inches off his waist, Michael has lost the cravings for takeaways and sugary drinks that led to his high BMI and blood sugar level.
“I know lots of people are worried about developing lockdown love-handles, but I lost 20k without going to the gym, just through walking, golf and healthy eating. There are simple life changes anyone can make, and with all the online resources available it’s much easier to change your life for the better.
“I didn’t know how to eat outside of what I knew, but the Healthier You programme has helped me with that. I know lots of people who have been upset by the closure of restaurants and take-aways, but I’ve hardly noticed as I make most of my meals fresh now.
“I see things very differently and all my friends and family are commenting on my weight loss, and I’ve pretty much cut out the takeaway treats.”
To maintain his lock-down activity levels, Michael enjoys walking around his village and also monitors his steps at work. These are just a couple of life changes recommended by the Healthier You Programme.
Professor Azhar Farooqi, Clinical Director for Diabetes in the Midlands, said:
“Living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is a daily challenge for millions of people and knowing they are more at risk if they are infected with coronavirus will be worrying, but the NHS has taken action to help people and keep them safe, including the roll out of these helpful apps.
“Access to trusted information and support is key to helping people manage their diabetes. The NHS’s highly successful, world-leading diabetes prevention programme is helping hundreds of thousands of people take small common sense steps to get control of their own health. We are delighted that we can build on that success by launching these new online tools to help empower people to look after their own condition and reduce their risk.”