Free courses are being offered to people with diabetes to help them manage their condition.
Last week the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust announced the extra courses, part of a number of measures being put in place following a £1.5m government cash boost to prevent and limit the effects of diabetes locally.
The courses, which help patients understand how to manage their condition, had initially been offered to people who’d been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the last year.
The day-long courses are set to double in number from 52 to 104 over the next year. Known as Desmond courses, these can be accessed via referral from a GP.
The Trust’s clinical lead for diabetes Maria Cowell said the courses could make a huge difference to people who’d been diagnosed with diabetes.
“They help them understand their condition and about their diet and lifestyle.
“Being diagnosed with diabetes is a serious health condition but there is clear evidence that people who learn how to manage their condition don’t have to keep going back to their GP for advice and also reduce the need for more complex treatment related to their diabetes in the future.”
There are also additional courses available for people with type 1 diabetes.
About 57,000 people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are thought to have diabetes, which can cause serious long-term health problems.
Diabetes is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age and is responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation, other than accidents. People with diabetes are also up to five times more likely to have cardiovascular disease, such as a stroke, than those without the condition.
Diabetes symptoms can include feeling very thirsty, urinating more frequently, and weight loss. Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days while many people have Type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.
Dr Mark Brookes, CCG clinical lead for diabetes said: “You can find out if you are at risk of developing diabetes through a simple health check and blood test at your GP surgery. It’s important to do this because if you are found to be at risk, simple lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes.”