When someone is first diagnosed with diabetes (whether it is Type 1 or Type 2), the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend they should attend a structured education programme – a diabetes course. This is because diabetes courses are considered to be an essential component of effective diabetes management.
The aim of diabetes courses is for people with diabetes to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence, enabling them to take increasing control of their condition and integrate effective self-management into their daily lives. These programmes help people to take control of their diabetes through learning more about their condition, how to self-manage and they also provide valuable peer support. Sometimes called patient education programmes, they are provided locally all across London and England for small groups of people. The length of the courses varies from 1 day (or 2 half days) if you have Type 2 diabetes up to 5 full days for people with Type 1 diabetes.
There is much research behind diabetes courses which demonstrate they do help people with diabetes to manage their condition better. A review of 21 studies showed significant reductions in blood-sugar levels at 6 months, 12 months and 2 years, as well as significant improvements in knowledge, self-management skills and empowerment.