The NHS is currently under huge pressure, with ever increasing demands on services including A&E, and funding running low. There are more and more reasons now to look at alternative health services for diabetes which are available to you through the NHS in order to help take the pressure off. Many diabetes sufferers may not be aware of the best services to utilise in different situations, so this guide will help you in deciding which service best suits your needs.
Dealing with Diabetes
Diabetes sufferers are in a particularly vulnerable position and one which can often cause stress and confusion. There are a wide range of complications and problems can arise at any given time, particularly for those who are insulin-dependent. Typical advice would be to contact the NHS 111 phone line, where nurses are available to discuss you current situation and symptoms 24 hours a day. As useful as the 111 line can be, however, in more urgent or stressful situations it does not always suffice.
Diabetes.co.uk have provided information on what to do in the case of severe hypoglycaemia, diabetic ketoacidosis and what you should do if you run out of medication. These are three of the most common and problematic issues which can arise for sufferers of diabetes. While it is advisable to call an ambulance in the case of severe hypoglycaemia, the NHS 111 line or a medical drop-in centre would usually suffice in the other two instances. Drop-in centres would be able to provide you with emergency medication, while the NHS 111 line can direct you to anywhere else that could also do this. The diabetes.co.uk is a brilliant source of information for diabetes sufferers, providing advice on all types of diabetes, living with diabetes, and types of treatment.
All diabetics will also have a contact number for their diabetic nurse who can be contacted with queries or problems. In addition, you can also make an appointment with your GP, either to see them in person or carry out a telephone consultation.
Services in and around Richmond
There are a number of services which you can contact if you are in need of support or advice in your area:
- Diabetes UK Richmond and Twickenham – Diabetes UK is the UK’s leading diabetes charity. Their aim is to provide support for sufferers of diabetes, advance knowledge and understanding of the illness, and help people find the best way to live with diabetes. Their main services include group meetings where people can discuss diabetes-related topics in a safe and knowledgeable environment. They can be contacted on 020 8941 1785
- Asian Diabetic Support and Awareness Group Merton – Despite what the title may suggest, the ASDAG group provides information and welfare rights advice to diabetes sufferers of all ethnic backgrounds. They can be contacted on 020 8544 9787
- LiveWell – With a centre based in Merton, the LiveWell team can advise you on living a healthier lifestyle in order to counteract the affects of diabetes. Appointments can be made on their website, or you can call them on 020 8973 3545
There are also a variety of charities and websites giving advice and information online. These include:
- Diabetes UK
- Diabetesadvice.co.uk – This website has everything from recipes and exercise advice, to information of care and medication and up-to-date news on diabetes research and events in the UK and elsewhere.
- NHS Choices – Their diabetes-focused page discusses everything from possible signs and symptoms of diabetes to living with the condition.
Whatever question you may have with regards to yours or a family member’s/friend’s diabetes, one of the services above will be able to help you. If a question is unanswered by this article, any of the support groups who are named above will be able to help or direct you to someone who can.