January 2018 Group meeting - Work by Diabetes UK in the Eastern Area

Suzanne Smith, who is Senior Volunteer Development Lead, in our area provided the group with information on the structure of Diabetes UK and provided information on the updated rules on diabetes and driving.

Diabetes UK restructured their volunteering teams in January 2017.  This saw the creation of some new posts and some amalgamation of roles across some of the geographical areas.  There are some regional and national variations in the structure. 

The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) bid for funding from NHS England to change lives in their local area.  The Mid Essex CCG has recognised through the work of Diabetes UK Eastern that there is a need to improve availability of and attendance at structured education courses and to improve treatment targets.  NHS England has agreed to fund the Mid Essex CCG to accomplish these goals.  An event has been set up by the CCG and in conjunction Diabetes UK Eastern in Chelmsford on 30 January 2018 to speak to the public and find out what is needed and where.

Diabetes UK Eastern work tirelessly with the commissioners and healthcare professionals to ensure that services for people living with diabetes are the best that they can be.

The Diabetes UK Eastern Office provides advice for the voluntary groups on many things including fundraising.  The Diabetes UK office in London organises fundraising events such as running, cycling and swimming.  The Chelmsford Group have taken part in the London Bridges Challenge, which is a walk across some of London’s most iconic bridges.  Funds raised from these events is usually collected through a Just Giving website and goes to Diabetes UK head office.

In the Eastern area there are 36 Community/Peer Support Groups and 26 Voluntary Groups.  The Community/Peer Support Groups are informal and are usually set up for a short period of time to sort out a local issue relating to diabetes.  These groups do not receive funding from Diabetes UK, nor do they have access to any banking facilities run by Diabetes UK.  Voluntary Groups are very structured; they have a committee; have banking facilities.  In Chelmsford there is one voluntary group and 2 peer support groups (one in Writtle and one in Moulsham Street). 

From the 1 January 2018, people with Diabetes will no longer loose their driving licences if they have hypo’s while they are asleep.  More information on the latest rules regarding driving are elsewhere on this website.

Diabetes UK has recently negotiated a new, five-year health partnership with Tesco, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.  They will all be looking to improve the health of the nation.

Suzanne reminded the group that we should all be making sure that no one is treated unfairly.

The General Data Protection Regulations come into force on 25 May 2018.  They regulations look at the rules about the use of personal data and will affect all Voluntary Groups.