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NHS England has deployed three online tools with videos and e-learning courses to help people with diabetes to manage their condition.
The aim is for the tools to complement clinical appointments, most of which are happening remotely through video and phone consultations, as well as in Covid-19 protected areas.
The tools include the Digibete app and website for children and young people with type 1 diabetes, which provides films and stories of how others are managing their condition, age-specific resources and news, and a place to record appointments, insulin dosages, insulin pump settings, school care plans and a direct dial to the local diabetes clinic.
Adults with type 1 diabetes can use the MyType1Diabetes service, which provides videos and e-learning courses to increase their understanding of their condition and how to be confident in managing it.
Later in the year, people with type 2 diabetes will get access to a healthy living platform, which will give advice on adopting healthy behaviours around diet and exercise, mental wellbeing and how to manage their condition.
Partha Kar, national specialty adviser on diabetes for NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “Diabetes is a daily challenge for millions of people and knowing they are more at risk if they are infected with coronavirus will be worrying, but the NHS has taken action to help people and keep them safe, including the roll-out of these helpful apps.
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“Access to trusted information and support is key to helping people manage their diabetes and we are delighted to support these tools which will, hopefully, empower people to look after their own condition and reduce their risk.”
The NHS also has a dedicated helpline for people with diabetes, and offers online appointments and routine GP appointments for those who take insulin. The government’s NHS Diabetes Prevention programme, which aims to reduce the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, is currently being piloted digitally in eight areas across the country.
Through the pilot, patients will get access to digital interventions for up to 12 months, to establish whether they are effective in supporting behavioural change in patients to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes.