Helping Patients Have Their Say At The Wales Diabetes Delivery Plan Meeting

Earlier today I was asked to attend the Wales Diabetes Delivery Plan Meeting as the patient representative. In attendance at the meeting were healthcare professionals including a diabetes consultant, a diabetes specialist nurse and a dietitian, the UK's top insulin pump manufacturers and the charity for people with diabetes in Wales- Diabetes UK Cymru. The aim was to generate a number of standards and recommendations for the Welsh Assembly Government, on factors surrounding insulin pump therapy and subsequent care.

In the 7 years of being on an insulin pump myself, I've never attended an event such as this, it was absolutely fantastic to get Animas, Cell Novo, Medtronic, Ypsomed and Roche around the table as well as some of the great healthcare professionals that we have in South Wales. Including my own diabetes nurse, which was how I got involved in the meeting and the pump project. The meeting opened with us discussing better ways to raise awareness of the availability of insulin pumps for patients, that the treatment might be suitable for. My point of view was that as well as diabetes consultants telling patients about their pump options, that people already on the pumps could do talks in clinics to provide a 'real-life' perspective of being on a pump. There was also feedback around using posters and leaflets in clinics to raise awareness and education on the topic.

At the moment it's estimated that approximately 6-7% of people with diabetes in Wales are on insulin pumps. This is a figure that greatly differs throughout the country, but one recommendation for the government may be that this figure is increased through the implementation of a 5-year plan. The plan would also include the implementation of an IT network or database for diabetes, that would be able to track measurables concerning pumps, consumables and usage. Being on an insulin pump involves a lot of hard work both initially and beyond, for both the pumper themselves and their healthcare professionals. So the number of specialist roles such as that of the diabetes specialist nurses and dietitians that already do a fantastic job, would need to increase so as to provide the extra support for the additional pumpers.

Another idea would be an annual conference for insulin pumpers and the different pump manufacturers, as a way to bring together all of the fantastic options, resources and technologies out there to help patients manage their condition. I voiced that I felt that patients being provided with options concerning their care and pump choice was integral to both their health and well-being, because insulin pumps are more than just a treatment option. I would consider mine a life-saver and it's a treatment option that I passionately feel that other people with diabetes should be provided with. But thankfully I'm not alone in this opinion and there are now a team of people working towards the diabetes delivery plan for Wales, to help create and implement improved insulin pump care for people with type 1.



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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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