Minutes From June's Group Meeting

Sarah opened the meeting and welcomed everyone, as a chance to get to know one another and support each other.  Sarah shared her story from diagnosis to support group and invited the group to share their stories.


The overwhelming story from many, but not all, was that as a whole we were left to our own devises, or expected to automatically know what diabetes meant, understood how our bodies were effected, and what the figures and readings thrown at us related to.


Sarah welcomed Dee Puckett, Program Developer for the Living Well Living Longer program devised and being piloted by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB). Dee has been in the healthcare profession for 18 years. She took extensive notes regarding our initial diagnosis stories and said she was horrified and dumbfounded that situations like these were still prevalent in today’s culture.

Dee’s program is based on a current screening program in England where people aged 40 – 64 are invited to a “health MOT”. The ‘screening’ itself takes 30 -40 minutes and is explained every step of the way, why blood pressure is taken and what the readings mean, testing cholesterol levels and what that is, weight, height, and blood glucose testing. They are able to test the Hb1Ac test that we have tested annually at our reviews, the difference being that they can provide the results in 11 minutes as opposed to the week we have to wait at our reviews!

Dee’s program has already found potentially high risk people who are at risk of stroke, heart disease and has already found a number of undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes patients. Her program, when things like this are found refers the patient directly to the GP with up to date results and high risk patients are seen by their GP within 48 hours! – Amazing results.


One of the main learning points from cases already addressed is that a lot of people said, “If I knew then what I know now”. With this in mind Dee is looking for volunteers from groups like ours, who would be willing to answer a few questions, on camera, to prepare a short film for information from patients already diagnosed about what they would have changed if they knew what lay further down the road for them?


In connection with what we spoke about at the start of the evening Dee reported that she reports into the Health Board Director and she was going to feed back our concerns to him. Sarah confirmed that she had attended the Torfaen Patient Reference Group at the beginning of June and expressed how, as a Newport patient, this is something that would be beneficial as a group in Newport but not as part of our Diabetes UK Group.

If you would like to know more or would like to be pivotal in founding a patient reference group in Newport, please let Sarah know.



Amie asked a few questions relating to the Living with Diabetes Days in research for Marketing Executive Shantelle Johnson, from Diabetes UK head office in London.


Sarah had reserved a table at Newport Central Library for a “Community Saturday” that, along with a table of leaflets and booklets, the librarians at Central also did some research and provided a selection of books relating to diabetes.


There is an upcoming event arranged by Communities 1st, a Health Awareness Event on the 20th August, 10:30am – 3pm, if you are interested in coming down and helping with the table of leaflets and talking to people with diabetes and promoting our group meetings too, then you would be most welcome, it’s going to be held in the fields adjacent to the Library and Community Centre in Ringland (Ringland Library, Ringland Centre, Newport NP19 9PS).


Amie outlined the importance of a management committee and advised that with a structured committee the group would be eligible for a start-up grant of £250 and officers of the committee would be entitled to free membership of Diabetes UK. Amie asked if anyone would like to take any positions on the committee and Sarah expressed she would like to take the position of Secretary, Amie approached members of the group who expressed an interest in joining the committee and at the end of the night she announced the officers of the committee were,


Chair: - Valery Ede

Treasurer: - Ann Dodson

Secretary: - Sarah Gibbs

Vice Chair: - Sarah Hawkins


The next two meetings will be Thursday 16th July and Thursday 20th August, 7 – 8:30pm Ss Julius and Aaron Church Hall, Heather Road, Newport.