NHS Forth Valley: New Diabetes Care Hub provides support for those living with the condition

Bringing people together who are all living with diabetes is the aim of a new facility in Falkirk.
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NHS Forth Valley has opened a Diabetes Care Hub in Falkirk Community Hospital and is offering group sessions to support people with the condition who require insulin or GLP1 injections.

People can book to attend a range of groups where they will be able to discuss any problems they have, receive support and advice and share their experiences with others.

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These include groups for young adults with diabetes, people starting to take insulin and those already on insulin who may require support with using new equipment and technology, including insulin pumps.

Staff in the new Diabetes Hub in Falkirk Community Hospital. Pic: ContributedStaff in the new Diabetes Hub in Falkirk Community Hospital. Pic: Contributed
Staff in the new Diabetes Hub in Falkirk Community Hospital. Pic: Contributed

To help make the Care Hub look less like an acute facilitiy it was decorated by young people and teachers from the art department at Falkirk High School, plants were donated by Dobbies Garden Centre in Stirling and Tesco at Falkirk Retail Park donated a supply of tea, coffee and biscuits for people attending the group sessions.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant Endocrinologist and Clinical Lead Dr Nick Barwell said the new group room provides a great resource for people with diabetes to share experiences and learn in a safe place.

He said: “This new facility will be extremely valuable to our team to help them deliver the ongoing education and support which is vital to help people live a healthy life. However, just as importantly, it provides an opportunity for local people to connect with others living with diabetes and discuss their problems, challenges, and solutions.”

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In Forth Valley, around 4000 people have Type 2 diabetes requiring insulin/injections of GLP1 and around 2000 people have Type 1 diabetes.

Lead diabetes specialist nurse Carolyn Kiddell said: “We aim to deliver sessions for people with diabetes where they feel more relaxed and able to discuss their experiences of living with diabetes with each other.

“One young man recently shared his experience of taking insulin and needles through customs as a child and the trauma of all the questions he was asked meant he never visited an airport again. Others in the group were able to reassure him that things had changed and that travel abroad with the correct planning was much easier. He left the group planning at trip to Ibiza with his friends.”

The new group room is the latest in a series of support measures for those with diabetes and NHS Forth Valley’s Diabetes Team worked hard over the last few months to find suitable accommodation for a new diabetes care hub which could be used.

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The health authority has also developed a new diabetes section on its website which contains a wide range of information and resources. People with diabetes can also request to speak to a member of the diabetes team and choose to attend face-to-face, video or telephone appointment as well as attend a number of different group sessions which enables them to meet others with diabetes.

Special services for people with Type 1 diabetes are also provided, including a Facebook community group. Plans to offer an exercise class to help people with Type 1 diabetes learn techniques to manage their insulin when exercising are also being explored.

Anyone who requires more information or wants to book into a local diabetes group can call 01324 566929, email [email protected] or visit the diabetes section of the NHS Forth Valley website.

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