New Diabetes Education Programme delivered in the community

Natasha Capon |28 Oct, 2020 | All Articles, Equity |

A new education programme designed to support people with Type 2 Diabetes to manage their condition and improve their health and wellbeing is now available in the community.

The Community Diabetes Education Programme, delivered by Nurse Maude and coordinated by Sport Canterbury, increases access to support by delivering sessions in the community. 

“Previously the sessions were held in Christchurch Hospital’s Diabetes Department, but we wanted to make it easier for participants to access these sessions closer to their homes,” says Rachel Thomas, Facilitator of the Integrated Diabetes Service Development Group.

“We held the last three programmes at Diabetes Christchurch in Sydenham and we plan to run them across various Canterbury locations next year. We are also working with Tangata Atumotu Trust and Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust to customise the programme for Pasifika and Māori.”

“When you’re first diagnosed with Diabetes you might be symptom free, so it’s easy to be complacent around managing this progressive disease, which is why education is so important,” says Rachel. 

Nurse Maude Community Diabetes Nurse Specialist Stacey Hodgman believes it’s valuable that this education is delivered by people who the participants can also see in their general practice as part of the Diabetes Primary Care Support team.  

“In the programme we debunk myths, talk about diabetes self-management, managing complications, therapies, nutrition and eligibility for testing meters, while Sport Canterbury covers exercise and lifestyle,” says Stacey.  

“Participants may have already heard the same advice before, but it’s always good to be reminded.” 

“It’s great to see plenty of support people attending with participants, particularly those who are doing the cooking in the home. It’s always good to have a second pair of ears, as it can be a lot to take in.” 

“Some of the sessions are held in the evening, which makes it easier for people to attend who work during the day.”

Sport Canterbury also work with those referred to encourage them to sign up for the Green Prescription (GRx) which supports them with physical activity and links them with other community services. They may also refer them to Appetite for Life, Senior Chef and other community exercise classes.
“The ongoing commitment of GRx and other community programmes and classes has the potential to make a real impact and change in lifestyle,” says Rachel. 

Sport Canterbury Physical Activity Team Leader Abby Wilson says the response from participants has been really positive with support and encouragement from peers proving to be beneficial. 

“It’s comforting for them to know they are not alone and others are going through the same things as them. We make time to share kai, have a cuppa and kōrero with each other, which is important,” says Abby. 

Feedback from participants show the value of the sessions:

“These sessions were great and very informative for me, gained lots of knowledge. Thank you.”

“This course has been extremely helpful. Team is wonderful, helpful and pleasant. No pressure on anyone. A genuine team who I can see have put a lot of time and effort into delivery of a good service.” 

For more information about the programme and to be referred, people should contact their general practice team or Sport Canterbury.

Practices can refer via ERMS – Diabetes Group Education Sessions. 

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