Wigan MP celebrates the success of a new local Diabetes programme

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy visited Boston House (Wigan Health Centre) on Friday 11 July to hear about the achievements of a new Type 2 Diabetes programme which is helping local people in the borough manage their condition more effectively.

Desmond Diabetes programme(left to right) DESMOND course participant Barry McGrath, Nurse Educator Celine Tracey, MP Lisa Nandy, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust Chief Executive Dr Kate Fallon, Nurse Educator Amy Skelton and DESMOND course participant Timothy Winstanley.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, in partnership with Wigan Clinical Commissioning Group, has been running DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) courses in Wigan borough since last November.

In the last eight months, hundreds of local people have already attended the free six hour programme which has been specifically developed nationally by NHS staff and patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

At the celebration event MP Lisa Nandy was greeted by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s Chief Executive Dr Kate Fallon and heard from staff and patients about how the course is supporting local people with Type 2 Diabetes to self-manage their condition.

Dr Kate Fallon said at the event:

“I am delighted to welcome MP Lisa Nandy to Boston House today to meet the staff involved in the DESMOND programme as well as some of the local people who have completed it following a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.

“Our staff realise that it can be quite a challenging time when a person is dealing with a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. When the condition is uncontrolled it can lead to complications for example it can affect their circulation and even lead to blindness so good self-management is extremely important.

“The aim of the DESMOND programme is to equip people with the skills they need to self-manage their condition more effectively so they can minimise the risk of these complications. The structured education programme gives people with Diabetes the chance to discover more about their condition and how they can reduce their own individual risk factors and it achieves this in a relaxed, informal and interactive group environment. Participants learn from each other and use various learning tools including food props to help them understand how to manage their Diabetes and set individual goals so they can make positive changes to their lifestyle.”

Lisa Nandy MP said:

“According to Diabetes UK the number of people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK is rising rapidly and is set to reach five million by 2025. One of the ways this issue can be tackled is through education. It is evident by meeting some of the people who have attended the DESMOND programme in Wigan borough that the course has really inspired them to make small but significant changes to their daily lives which will ultimately have a really positive impact on their health.”

Timothy Winstanley, aged 55 from Standish, is one of the patients who states he has benefitted from attending the DESMOND course. He joined the celebration event at Boston House to share his experience. He said:

“After completing the DESMOND course I am now more aware of Diabetes and how to manage it.  I feel that I have been empowered by the course to manage my condition more effectively. The important message I took from the course is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by having a balanced diet and taking more exercise. I would urge anyone who gets a letter inviting them to a session to attend.”

In Wigan regular DESMOND courses are run by Bridgewater’s Diabetes Nurse Educators Amy Skelton and Celine Tracey from a variety of convenient locations such as Boston House/ Wigan Health Centre, Dam House/ Astley Clinic and Golborne Clinic.

Anyone who lives in Wigan Borough who has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in the last 12 months will receive a letter followed by a telephone call inviting them to attend the DESMOND programme and they can even bring a carer or friend if they wish. If you want to find out more information about the programme please contact Jane Brown, Desmond Co-ordinator, at Boston House on 01942 482231 for more details.

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