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Tackling type 2 diabetes for World Diabetes Day

Published: 14 November 2013

Diabetes essentialsAs the RCN marks World Diabetes Day 2014, RCN Nursing Advisor Amanda Cheesley tells us about her recent presentation at the Future of diabetes care summit.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the Future of diabetes care summit at a time when the RCN is working hard to promote the role of diabetes specialist nurses, and to address some of the key issues around diabetes care. 

“The presentation I gave at the event focused on how the role of the diabetes specialist nurse needs to work as part of a multidisciplinary team - and it was good to hear a number of people at the summit acknowledging the issues we are facing. This year’s World Diabetes Day, 14 November, is an opportunity to raise crucial awareness that we simply cannot afford to continue as we currently are.

“The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing every year, and the consequences of not addressing this are massive. It is estimated that five million people may have diabetes by 2020, but at the same time Diabetes UK has reported that up to 80 per cent of cases can be delayed or prevented with good education and support, and early diagnosis and treatment.

“Huge scope for improvement”

“The positive news is this means there is huge scope for improvement - we need better public awareness of the condition, and better education for nursing professionals. We must also tackle the alcohol, tobacco and food industries.  A better diet, more exercise, and reduction in obesity across the population would dramatically reduce cases of type 2 diabetes.

“The RCN Diabetes Forum is currently developing a pathway approach to managing diabetes and improve patient care. I would urge all nursing professionals to refresh their knowledge around the subject by checking our toolkit, Diabetes essentials. Aimed at health care assistants and nursing students, the interactive resource is easy to use and invaluable for anyone who wants to gain basic knowledge and find out about the latest understanding in diabetes care.”