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Nurses should encourage patients with diabetes to self-manage their condition

New campaign called Taking Control is launched to mark World Diabetes Day

Nurses are being encouraged to recommend courses on how people with diabetes can self-manage their conditions.

The charity Diabetes UK is marking World Diabetes Day on November 14, by launching a new campaign called Taking Control.

This campaign aims to highlight the vital role nurses can play by finding out what diabetes education services are available in their local area and promoting them to the patients they are treating.

Recent figures published by Diabetes UK show that only 3.6% of newly diagnosed people in England receive an education course, and research suggests that enrolment in such courses is far more likely if the healthcare professional recommending it is enthusiastic and positive about the benefits.

Senior diabetes specialist nurse Siobhan Pender said: ‘Nurses and other practice staff need to understand the importance of patient education and, if they don’t regularly refer, they should ask to attend a taster session themselves so they can gain a better understanding of the benefits and have a positive attitude about recommending it to patients.

‘A few minutes explaining the benefits of an education programme can pay huge dividends in the long term.

‘It is also important to listen to the patient’s concerns and aim to guide, rather than direct, them to a decision about a beneficial education course.’

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends everyone with type 1 and type 2 diabetes receives a structured educational programme that fulfils nationally-agreed criteria from the time of diagnosis.

For more information about diabetes education and free resources, including posters and leaflets for patients and a resource to help healthcare professionals boost uptake of courses, click here.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using hashtag #TakingControl.

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