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Diabetes - Alan Campbell case study

Alan_Campbell_CVD.jpegAlan is a North West service champion for Diabetes UK and part of a Task & Finish group at the North West Coast SCN developing an education curriculum for Diabetes Type 1 in the first six months of diagnosis. Passionate about improving diabetes education, he was recently awarded ‘National Campaigner of the Year’ in the Charity Staff and Volunteers Awards 2016.

Alan has had Type 1 Diabetes for 22 years and was inspired to get involved with SCNs and CCGs at a strategic level after a lack of information in the early stages of being diagnosed led to him developing a number of related health complications.

He had been losing weight, feeling tired, was increasingly thirsty, getting up repeatedly in the night and just wasn’t himself. He had no idea he had Type 1 Diabetes until he was admitted to hospital, where he was finally diagnosed and prescribed insulin, but was offered little support at the time on how to manage his condition.

“If you don’t know what the complications are likely to be at the beginning, you won’t know what steps to take to manage your condition and could suffer complications, as I did.”

In spite of recent improvements in Diabetes care and support, better education, early on, is crucial. As the leader of six Diabetes communities across the North West, Alan is providing vital information for the education curriculum, based on his own experiences and those of other people with Diabetes.

The new education curriculum will help health professionals to provide people newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and their carers with the essential information they need in the first six months. It covers 17 different categories which include what Diabetes is, HbA1c, psychological support, managing hypos, employee rights, management plans, appointments and follow-ups.

Ultimately this work should help reduce complications, the number of amputations and the need for additional medication to be subscribed, helping people with Diabetes to live longer through better self-management.

“Through my involvement, I have a better understanding of the condition, a better relationship with my Diabetologist and other health professionals involved in my care and I can communicate better about the condition as well.

“Each health care professional working closely with their patient will be able to use the guidance to work out at which stage it is best to tell them different things, depending on their individual needs.

“If I can save one person from going through the negative introduction to this condition that I had and not suffer with the complications I do, then I’ve done what I set out to do.”

If I can save one person from going through the negative introduction to this condition that I had and not suffer with the complications I do, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

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