About the Author: Rachel Smyth

10 June 2021


This year, C4PC Partner, Diabetes UK is celebrating the diabetes community, looking back at this extraordinary year, and looking forward to what is to come with #DiabetesStories.

The role of Personalised Care in Diabetes management is paramount. Type 1 and Type 2 are both complex conditions, that require a 24/7 approach to care.

Diabetes UK said, “The average person with diabetes spends three hours a year with a healthcare professional – for the remaining 8,757 hours they manage the condition themselves. Offering people active involvement in deciding, agreeing and owning how their diabetes is managed puts them firmly in the driving seat of their care.

“Every person with diabetes should receive personalised care planning. This enables them to be more involved and empowered in making decisions about how best to manage their diabetes which can help reduce the risk of serious complications – such as kidney failure, amputations, stroke and heart attack.

“Personalised care planning is also about giving people the right information on what healthcare they are entitled to and the ability to access help when they need it – when done well, this gives people with diabetes the opportunity to work together with their healthcare team to be more informed, vocal and empowered in making decisions about their care.

“There have certainly been some impressive developments in diabetes management in recent years. Individuals living with the condition have more often than not, moved from regimented injections that dictate how and when they can eat and the types of activity they can undertake, to a flexible system of insulin pumps, that mimic the slow release of insulin from a pancreas, and Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (CGM) that limit the need for finger pricks, offering round the clock, accessible monitoring.”

We spoke with two people living with Type 1 Diabetes who have been directly affected by the introduction of the Freestyle Libre CGM system, and the DAFNE education program, that equips individuals with the knowledge to carbohydrate count, and alter their insulin doses themselves.

Today we’re sharing the stories of two diabetics and their experiences of personalised care.

Anonymous (Type 1 diabetic for over 25 years)

What role does personalised care play in your diabetes management?

“I have found personalised care very helpful. Any help I am given will help me with my diabetes management, reviewing what has worked can help me to understand things better and how I can improve. DAFNE has helped greatly, and working with other Type 1’s makes me realise I am not alone.”

How does new technology make you feel about handling your diabetes?

“It really helps me in my day to day life. The Freestyle Libre makes it so much easier and quicker to test my blood sugars when I am out and about. This gives me confidence and has made me control my blood sugars better.”

How would you like to see Personalised Care develop in the future?

“Getting so much from the DAFNE course I feel that all diabetics need to have as much support as they possibly can. There is so much to take on board with relation to diabetes and to have it broken down in many weeks was very helpful. Diabetes care is always changing. Sharing best practice with other diabetics is key to learning as much as you can about the condition which will help you going forward.”

Rachel (Type 1 diabetic for 18 years)

How have you experienced personalised care?

“Personalised Care has changed the way I live my life completely. I have been offered the option of an insulin pump, received education on diet and carbohydrate counting, and have been given choices that put me in control.

In Covid, Personalised Care options really stepped up and I was offered a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system (CGM), telephone appointments and online chat options for support. My Freestyle Libre allows me to monitor my blood sugar levels 24 hours a day, but also allows my diabetic nurse to log in and see the results without me having to visit in person or go for a blood test.”

How important is personalised care to living with a long term health condition?

“Living with diabetes is a challenge that never ends. It’s so important to recognise the fatigue and struggles faced by those living with a condition with no end in sight. Without personalised care my life would be so different. Options and education have given me the tools to live something that looks like a normal life. It makes me feel in control.”