Suffolk & North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System

Social prescribing could hold the keys to get more attending diabetes courses

July 2019
Sharon Alexander, Chief Officer, CVST

Sharon Alexander, the Chief Officer at the Community Voluntary Services Tendring, said the scheme – aimed at linking people with community groups – has been effective across the district in getting people connected with local services.

Sharon added feedback from local people who have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have told peer support groups that an online education would be useful.

While in areas of the system, there is above national average take-up of Desmond – a course that supports people living with Type 2 diabetes to increase levels of understanding around diabetes, make food choices and take control – there are other areas that are not so well attended.

Shane Gordon, the ICS’s Senior Responsible Officer for Diabetes, explained a possible reason for this: “Many people are at work when these courses are provided during the day and are educated to a level that doesn’t necessarily need to attend the course.”

He added: “Permanent lifestyle change is a real challenge and the diabetes piece needs to be connected to all of the other lifestyle benefits associated with the change.”