April's Minutes

April’s Minutes

Sarah welcomed everyone to the meeting, we were originally told that our guest speakers were unable to make it on the night so we discussed some issues that are upcoming with the group.

We have been up and running now for nearly a year and we’ve had our committee in place for 11 months so in the near future we will be looking to hold an AGM, the roles on the committee are Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, if anyone is interested I have role descriptions if anyone wants to consider joining the committee.

We discussed the need to fundraise within the group, our aim is to be self-sufficient, it was suggested that although we charge a small amount for tea and coffee if people do not want a drink then they don’t pay, it was put forward to consider paying a monthly subscription. I feel this is something we should discuss at the AGM.

Diabetes UK are running Speaker Training on Friday 20th May if anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer speaker. It is something Bronwyn and I are undertaking and I said that we were available if anyone wanted us to speak at their groups.

I have been approached by a pharmacy manager at Superdrug in Newport who is keen to promote the ideals of the group and has suggested that she would be willing to hold coffee mornings for her patients to raise awareness, this is something that I, had not really thought about but the more I do think about it the better and better the idea gets, I’ve invited Claire along to our group meetings to build relationships and promote the group and hopefully together form a coffee morning, maybe even a coffee morning circuit.

May’s meeting will be our first birthday, yes we’ve really been going 12 months and I, for one, have thought the year has gone so quickly and it’s thanks to you who turn up every month that make it a success, if I spread the word to just one person I consider it a huge success so thank you all for turning up again and again to support the group and spread the word of the group.

To our surprise, Jo Baker, the Diabetic Specialist Nurse (DSN) for Newport West arrived and kindly spoke about the services they provide.

Jo is one of five new DSN’s who have come into post over the last year. One of their main roles is to visit GP clinics to make sure the practice nurses to make sure they are sharing the best practice regarding diabetes services, educating them to the dangers of lypohypotrophy which are the hard lumps that form under injection sites of patients who self-inject, the importance of rotating the injection sites to prevent this.

The idea of the community DSN’s is to help cut down the need to refer to secondary care which is the hospital services, primary care being the GP surgeries. This should then free up the secondary care providers to handle more complex cases of diabetes, Type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes, and complications from diabetes such as cardiac disease.

If there are any problems the DSN’s can be contacted at County Hospital Pontypool, Monday – Friday 9-5.

The clinical education that the DSN’s provide to the GP surgeries have been taken from the Yorkshire X-pert program aiming at improving blood sugar control and the complications that poor control cause such as complications of the eyes, retinopathy, feet, peripheral neuropathy (lack of feeling and bad circulation) and kidney problems, nephropathy.

Healthy eating and portion control through the X-pert program is an important tool that the DSN’s promote with more and more courses being made available, normally referral is through your GP however Jo said she is happy for Sarah to send in names to be added to the list so if this is something you think you may be interested in taking part in please let Sarah know.

One of the first areas that the DSN’s have impacted with the GP’s is the need to ensure that with injection pens the needles issued are 4mm so that they penetrate just under the skin and not into muscle as longer needles have been a cause of bruising and pain when injecting into the muscle, the best injection sites are in an imaginary “smiley face” over and under the belly button or the outside of the thighs, the bingo wings are also a good place to inject but this can be quite difficult to reach.

One of the issues that the DSN’s are facing at present is diabetes care in care, nursing and residential homes, with the care staff now being educated in treating patients with the care they need when they may not be able to control their diabetes themselves, they are also producing a resource pack available to the staff of these homes, they also have a nursing advice line.

The advice of the x-pert program and a resource for medical staff called “diatips” talks about the reduction of visceral fat, so what’s visceral fat? Well it’s the layer of fat that our bodies put down around our organs and can cause resistance to insulin produced in the body, its like a bit of glue locking the cells shut to being able to use the insulin in the body which has the result of raising blood sugars.

The advice of weight loss can help return our bodies to a “pre-diabetic” state however if that is the case you will always have a higher risk of developing diabetes. The advice of a low carbohydrate and low fat diet are the best advice to patients.