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15-16 November 2023, Olympia London

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26 Sep 2022

Specialist service launched to help people with type 2 diabetes

Specialist service launched to help people with type 2 diabetes

A specialist service has been launched at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) to help support patients living with type 2 diabetes.

Forming part of the Patient Support Hub at UHS, the pilot involves using a team of volunteers to deliver an enhanced support programme for patients prior to and following their discharge from hospital in collaboration with clinicians.

It is believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the UK.

The volunteers receive specialist training on the condition, including how to support the wider holistic needs of patients, and will use evidence-based education materials to help patients understand how they can control their condition and prevent the risk of complications.

The idea is that they will “fill the cracks” between patients’ hospital visits and their discharge home by continuing to advise and guide with self-management and lifestyle changes, as well as to offer wider every-day help.

The project will identify those who are newly-diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but the service is also available to current patients who can be referred in by the diabetes team at UHS.

Preeti Beri, project manager in the patient experience team at UHS, said: “Patients living with a long-term condition like diabetes will usually need to make big changes to their lifestyles.

“Clinically our patients are in very good hands when it comes to their medical needs but we know there is more that can be done to support the wellbeing of patients.

“This project aims to evidence the impact that volunteers can have on those patients who need extra support, helping to ‘fill the cracks’ between their time in hospital and at home.”

The team also supports patients more widely by delivering prescriptions, food shopping and medical equipment, signposting for other external support and providing a befriending service which offers one-on-one chats either in hospital or over the phone.

Carly Stummer, lead nurse for the project at UHS, said: “The ultimate ambition with this enhanced care package is that we do our best to keep patients as healthy as possible while living with type 2 diabetes in the hope that it helps prevent further medical intervention and hospital admissions.

“By empowering them with as much support as possible we aim to fully equip them with everything they need to know medically and holistically so that they can lead as full a life as possible.

“While we will monitor patients within the service it will be patient-led, meaning patients can contact the team any time during the working week to request further support.”

The pilot study is funded by UHS and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Diabetes Programme Board and will initially see 10 volunteers give three hours of their time a week for three months.

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