Maggie Heels, 26th April 2018

Maggie Heels, 26th April 2018

On Thursday 26th April the Group welcomed guest speaker Maggie Heels (to the left in the photo), Senior Diabetes Facilitator Manager for Central Norfolk.

Specialist Diabetes Nurse Maggie has been working in diabetes for 20 years and previously worked at Cromer Hospital Outpatients Department.

Maggie explained that The Diabetes Nurse Facilitator Service was initially started in 2002 on a 12 month trial period to offer specialist nurse clinics in GP practices in Central Norfolk (North Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk) and education groups for patients with newly diagnosed diabetes. Diabetes update days and mentoring are provided for GPs and Practice Nurses.The trial period was initially funded by the Norfolk Diabetes Trust and following that was taken up by The Clinical Commissioning Group.

The service covered 12 practices when it first started and now in 2018 covers 64 plus an additional 8 branch practices with 1 monthly clinics being held at each practice.

There are over 40,000 people in Norfolk with diabetes and the facilitator service allows people with Type 2 diabetes to be treated at GP practices which gives hospitals more time to treat people that require high diabetes care. 6% to 8% of a practice population will be registered with diabetes.

Most people would be shocked to know that around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. There are currently 3.4 million people with Type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year. While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes and to combat this The Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) was launched in 2016.

The DPP identifies those at high risk and refers them onto a behaviour change programme which makes courses available to tell people about the condition and to support and motivate them to achieve a healthy weight, improve their diet and become more physically active. The courses are offered with a minimum of 16 hours contact time over a period of 12 months with trained facilitators and these courses are commissioned to an external provider.

Along with the 3,000 phone calls per annum the Diabetes Facilitator Service also provides service/education for care home staff and District Nurses to try to avoid admissions to hospital. Future plans include hopefully being able to provide a 7 day per week out of hours telephone advice service. 

Following her presentation Maggie willingly answered various questions from members present.