March's Newsletter

March’s Newsletter

Hi Everyone and Welcome to March’s Newsletter, lots to tell you this month.

Firstly, I want to share that at the Diabetes UK Volunteer Conference 2016, our group was awarded the 2016, Local Group and Community Inspire Award. – What an accomplishment, in our first year, to be recognized with such an award, the conference was brilliant with difference workshops being run during the day and then the Inspire Awards at the end, we were given a beautiful trophy, certificates and a lovely hamper of tea, coffee and treats. Thank you for making this group worthwhile and informative, without you we wouldn’t have a group. Thank you.

Even more special for me as I was asked to share my Volunteer Story at the start of the Conference – I for one thoroughly enjoyed the day, we shared the stories on our twitter feed for anyone who wants to go back and read what we did during the day.

Monday 29th February a group of us attended the Health Boards follow up at the “You Said – We Did” event at the Christchurch Centre at Malpas. The event was attended by Healthcare professionals, people with Diabetes, families of people with diabetes, carer’s and support groups like our own. This was a follow up from an event that was held 18 months ago where the health board asked those who need the services, what we wanted and how we could help shape the care we are entitled to. There are a number of projects ongoing at present all of which are gathering momentum, the new Diabetic Specialist Nurses are all now in post and are working in clusters of GP practice’s and surgeries across Gwent, the two nurses that cover Newport East and West will be coming along next month to give us a roundup of all that is happening for diabetes services across Gwent and specifically Newport.

The “You Said, We Did” event gave us an introduction to the Neighbourhood Care Network (NCN’s) sent out by the health board to all GP surgeries in Gwent detailing what is going on, we have been added to the mailing list to receive this as a support group and we have also been featured in March’s Edition.

For those who are interested Torfaen runs a Patient Reference Group (PRG) that the diabetes services report in to. They meet every 3 months in the large meeting room at Ty Siriol, County Hospital, Pontypool, these are your chances to raise issues that affect people living with diabetes, we have recently brought up the writing on the medication packages being very small, which is something that is going to be looked at and focused on by the Diabetes Planning and Delivery Group (DPDG), this is another group that is looking for people to attend, this meeting is where issues raised at the reference group get fed back directly to the people who make the decisions at a local level. Although these are listed as Torfaen Groups they are open to everyone, if you would like to know more, read the minutes from the last meeting and see the type of agenda items that are discussed please see Sarah for details.

Anyone is able to attend these meetings as a patient, carer or family member of someone with diabetes. They are really informative and you can make a difference. The most recent success being that the Patient Reference Group has managed to get the letters sent to patients about their annual review are no longer aggressively written and are now in plain English, not meant to bully or intimidate as was felt the previous letters did. – Small steps that make huge differences.

Diabetes UK Cymru are running training events over the next few months for those who are interested in volunteering at any live events they run, such as event trainings, safe guarding for vulnerable people, and today they held a training day to equip you with the means to carry out Know Your Risk assessments at roadshows and the like. – there are other opportunities coming soon so please let Sarah know if you would like to take part in any of them.

So this month we have the team from Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service for Wales (DRSSW) which is going to be an interesting talk that I, for one, am really looking forward to.

Next month (21st April), we have the Newport Cluster DSN’s coming to talk so hopefully you will join me for the evening.

We have been in the Argus over the past month but we are always looking for new members to make sure we go from strength to strength so please spread the work of the group, talk about it with your doctor’s receptionist, practice manager, local pharmacist, local corner shop, and anyone who will listen.

Have a great month and if you have any other suggestions for topics of meetings please see Sarah.