It is with great interest that I saw a headline flash up on the BBC website today stating that “24,000 diabetes deaths a year could be avoidedâ€ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16147731.
"Many of these deaths could be prevented," said Dr Bob Young, diabetologist and spokesman for the National Diabetes Information Service.
"We know that half of people with Type 2 and more than two thirds of people with Type 1 diabetes are not receiving the care they need to stay healthy," said Barbara Young, Diabetes UK chief executive.
With comments like this it is clear that we need to look at diabetes care in a new light.
Aside from my work as a chiropractor I also work as a coordinator for the Getting Sorted program. This is a series of 5 workshops run at weekends for teenagers with type 1 diabetes and it aims to help deliver diabetes care in a fresh and innovative way. There are no doctors, no nurses, just real people and the program itself is delivered by a young adult who has type 1diabetes. We adults just sit quietly in the background and let the kids do the talking.
They find that that through discussions and shared experiences they learn from one another about how to cope with their diabetes. It’s not just about diabetes though; he program aims to empower participants and build self confidence through a series of team building and communication exercises. As the workshops run at weekends its also about having fun and making friends.
There are no simple answers to diabetes care and it is a complex and multi faceted problem however it is clear that the current model of care is failing. Diabetes is associated with several long term potentially serious complications but it can be very effectively managed. The challenge is to find innovative and better ways to manage the condition.
To find out more about the Getting Sorted program please click on the link http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/gettingsorted/index.htm