Diabetes UK Volunteers an Exciting Operational Look at All That's Been Achieved So Far

Delivering an exciting presentation after I gave my own was Colette Marshall, the new operations manager for Diabetes UK. Colette may be new to the post but she hasn't wasted anytime getting to know what all of us volunteers have been up to, all 7,000 of us!

It was good to hear a little about the current strategy for volunteers that Diabetes UK is following at the moment. A brief overview as I understood it was that the charity wants to:-
  • Bring about change for people with the condition and their diabetes care
  • Put focus on the key needs of people with the condition
  • Influence improvements in health care
  • Raise awareness and bring about prevention of the condition
  • Fundraising for things like research
This strategy will be in place until 2015 and began a few years ago in 2011. Going forward I understand that the focus will transition into influencing the NHS- supporting them and challenging them when needed where people with diabetes are concerned. They want to provide further education for health care professionals, whilst being a powerful voice in the diabetes community. Diabetes UK also wish to continue on they're diabetes prevention agenda reaching more people, whether that be through engaging even more volunteers or promoting better primary care checks. The over arching ideal however seemed to be that the charity wanted to provide what they call a dialogue for life. My understanding of the meaning of this is that they want to be there for people with diabetes through every transition of their condition. From diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

Collete mentioned that these strategies will be measured by factors such as whether the life expectancy for people with diabetes increases, if the charity manages to greatly reduce the number of undiagnosed people who are living with the condition but don't know about it. Strategy success will be shown by reducing this worrying rate at which people are being diagnosed, along with a reduction of complications because apparently 100 amputations a week are done because of diabetes. There have already been many successes already with the Diabetes UK strategies, for example the distribution of the 15 healthcare essentials. 1.5 million copies have already been given out of the literature. The provision of online education for people with Type 2 diabetes has been very popular. And finally the campaign that has been featured numerous times on this blog- the 4t's campaign has seen great success too. It's frightening that 25% of children in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes at the point of DKA. But since this campaign was started, the number has been greatly reduced.

So what does the next campaign for children with diabetes involve? In the next few months there will be a schools focussed campaign, hopefully linked to a government amendment that will say that every child with diabetes should be provided with a personalised care plan in their school. Although I know I'm very fortunate not to be amongst them, I'm aware that there are many people who have not/ are currently enduring a terrible time in school with their diabetes. And the most ironic thing about that is that the difficulty is not coming from their peers, quite often it's from the teaching professionals in their school locking away their insulin and preventing them from going on school trips. So I'm sure this will be a welcome strategy in the future!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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