The Diabetes Network brings together people living with diabetes, carers, and health and social care professionals working in partnership with Diabetes UK on the design and delivery of better diabetes services.
There are currently almost 100,000 people in Northern Ireland living with diabetes and this rises annually by more than 3,000 due to our ageing and growing population. It is estimated around 12,000 people are also living with Type 2 diabetes and have not yet been diagnosed.
The Network supports the implementation of the Department of Health’s (DoH) Strategic Framework for Diabetes, one of a series of initiatives to support the ‘Health and Well-being 2026, Delivering Together’ plan which aims to transform Health and Social Care (HSC) services across Northern Ireland.
The Network will lead the improvement of care for people in Northern Ireland who:
The Diabetes Network for NI is made up of a Diabetes Network Programme Board supported by a Network Executive and the following regional, local, sub groups and task and finish groups:
Each Network Sub Group and Network Forum has a dedicated Network Chair – view details of Network Chairs.
Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar level is higher than normal.
There are two main types of diabetes:
About 2% of people living with diabetes have other types of diabetes such as:
Certain medication such as steroids and antipsychotics, surgery or hormonal imbalances could also lead to other types of diabetes.
For more information about diabetes visit the Diabetes UK website.
In October 2020, the Network set out a new roadmap to improve the health and well-being of those living with diabetes across the region.
Read more information about the Network refresh.
The Citizen Poll was a pulse check on the priorities that the Diabetes Strategic Framework set in November 2016.
Our Survey was not a consultation but an opportunity to find out three years on, if there were certain areas where we should place particular emphasis as we refresh our work programme, based on people’s experiences.
The contributions we received from people living with diabetes and their carers informed and supported our Programme Refresh.
The Network recently welcomed 28 PLWD as members of our network working groups and are supporting them to share their lived experience in partnership with Diabetes UK. PLWD are represented across our programme structure, contributing to improving treatment and care for PLWD in Northern Ireland.
The Network commissioned ‘10k More Voices’ feedback around diabetes treatment and care in Northern Ireland. This report included 114 stories collected from a BHSCT diabetes clinic. 92% had a positive or extremely positive experience.
If you have diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 or previous gestational diabetes) then it is important to plan your pregnancy to help reduce risks to you and baby.
The Northern Ireland Diabetic Eye Screening Programme has restarted, but in order to help the programme be safe and still identify those most at risk of sight loss invitations will be prioritised based on your previous eye screening result.
There are two phases of prioritisation , based on who is most at risk of sight loss. :
If sudden changes, total sight loss, severe pain or trauma to your eye(s) then you should contact your nearest hospital eye casualty as soon as possible.
If gradual changes or your are concerned, your optometrist can offer advice, treatments, or signposting to appropriate service. The NI Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (NI PEARS) offers appointments and advice at no charge. Mor information and a list of participating optometry practices can be found at www.hscboard.hscni.net/eyes
For further information visit – pha.site/diabeticeye
The Diabetes Network for Northern Ireland launched a new Foot Care Pathway to improve services for adults living with diabetes in November 2019.
The new Diabetes Foot Care Pathway enables all adults with diabetes to access the same services no matter where they live in Northern Ireland. It consists of 4 steps including annual foot care screening through to advanced foot disease care and treatment with a focus on the prevention of ulcers and amputations which will ultimately reduce hospital admissions.
To watch more videos from the Diabetes Network NI are available click here (vimeo.com/showcase/diabetes-network)
|Title and link to download||Description||Date|
|Pathway for the Managed Access of FreeStyle Libre®||Guidance||4th December 2017|
|Community Pharmacy and GP Letter - Freestyle Libre 2||Letter to Community Pharmacists and GPs||26th February 2021|
|Prescribing of FreeStyle Libre||Letter to GP Practices and Community Pharmacists||6th November 2017|
|Prescribing of FreeStyle Libre||Letter to HSC Trusts' Chief Executives||4th December 2017|
|HSCB Letter Freestyle Libre (Flash Glucose Monitoring Pathway)||Letter to HSC Trusts' Chief Executives||4th December 2017|
The change over to the Freestyle Libre 2® Flash Glucose Monitoring system is taking place in Northern Ireland, starting from February 2021.
People living with diabetes, including children, who are currently prescribed the Freestyle Libre 1® system, will move to the new Libre 2® sensors prescription. The Freestyle Libre 2® was added to the Northern Ireland Drug Tariff on 1 November 2020.
Over the next few weeks, if you are already using the Freestyle Libre system, your GP practice will change your prescription from Freestyle Libre 1 sensors to Freestyle Libre 2 sensors. We are unable to tell you exactly when this will be.
Please be patient, as everyone who is being prescribed Libre 1 is eligible for Libre 2, and will be contacted by their GP practice.
Please wait for your GP to contact you, as practices are dealing with a high volume of calls during the pandemic.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is very similar to FreeStyle Libre 1 system, but:
(Finger pricks are however required if glucose readings and alarms do not match symptoms or expectations.)
The FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor can be scanned with either the FreeStyle LibreLink app OR with a FreeStyle Libre 2 reader.
You can choose which device you want to receive alarms:
If you routinely use your mobile phone to scan your Freestyle Libre 1 sensor, you can continue to do this when you start to use the Freestyle Libre 2 sensors. The app will automatically update to the latest version (2.5) to enable additional functionality of the FreeStyle Libre 2 system.
If you currently use a reader to scan your Freestyle Libre sensor you will NOT be able to use this reader to scan the NEW Freestyle Libre 2 sensors. We recommend that you order a new Freestyle Libre 2 reader direct from the manufacturer (Abbott) as soon as possible (even before you receive your new prescription for Freestyle Libre 2 sensors)
Go on line and order a free upgraded reader from Abbott www.freestylelibre.co.uk/replacement OR
Call customer service on: 0800 170 1177 (Mon-Fri: 8am – 8pm, Sat: 9am – 5pm excl. bank holidays)
You will need to provide the serial number of your current FreeStyle Libre reader; however, you will not be required to return this to Abbott.
You can only use the Freestyle Libre 2 reader to scan the Freestyle Libre 2 sensors.
You can only use the Freestyle Libre 1 reader to scan the Freestyle Libre 1 sensors
Information about driving and diabetes can be found at: www.gov.uk/diabetes-driving
Support is available on the Freestyle Academy https://progress.freestylediabetes.co.uk/.
Further information is available from the manufacturer website at: www.FreeStyleDiabetes.co.uk.
Diabetes Network Programme – Office team members
Clinical Director – Dr Hamish Courtney
Clinical Director – Dr Mary Donnelly
Commissioning Lead – Ms Sophie Lusby
Programme Lead – Joanne McKissick – Joanne.McKissick@hscni.net
Project Manager – Olivia Fox – Olivia.Fox@hscni.net
Project Manager – Rachel Leonard – Rachel.Leonard@hscni.net
Administrator – firstname.lastname@example.org
As a member of our network service user and carers representatives contribute to decision making and share their experience to help improve diabetes services in NI.
Members of the Network work in partnership with Specialist Diabetes Consultants, Doctors, Diabetes Specialist Nurses and Dietitians, GPs, Pharmacists, Podiatrists, Midwives and Diabetes Service Managers.
This voluntary role includes a package of full support and training.
|Title and link to download||Description||Date|
|Role - Service User or Carer Representative||Description of the role of the service user and/or carer representative.||6th August 2020|
|HSC Guidance on reimbursement of expenses||HSC Guidance on reimbursement of out of pocket expenses.||6th August 2020|
|Service User and Carer Checklist||HSC Quality Improvement Service User and Carer Checklist - What you need to consider and what you need to do.||6th August 2020|
|PPI - Reimbursement guide for service users and carers||Personal Public Involvement (PPI) - How to claim back your money for expenses – a guide for service|
users and carers.
|6th August 2020|
|HSC Reimbursement claim form||Service user, carer or stakeholder: Reimbursement of expenses - Claim Form||6th August 2020|