Facebook Pixel Code Image Skip to main content

All Website dropdown

Diabetes Network for Northern Ireland

Image - Text 'Diabetes Network NI'Diabetes Network for Northern Ireland

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
If you have general concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19) and diabetes visit the Diabetes UK website for guidance.
Find out what to do if you think you have coronavirus

About the Network

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.


What is Diabetes

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.


Network Developments


Refresh for Diabetes Network

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.

Citizen Poll 2021

Image of the text Citizen Poll.

People living with diabetes and carers are urged to give their views on the use of digital technology in managing the condition.

As part of its Citizen Poll, the Diabetes Network for Northern Ireland wants to hear from those living with diabetes about whether they think diabetes technology has helped and supported them.

The online survey, launched on 12 May, will enable people living with the condition and those caring for someone with diabetes to share their views and experiences.

Take part in the online survey.

Closing date: Wednesday 2 June



Effective involvement

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.


10k More Voices Insights

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.


Are you thinking about having a baby?

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.

Attend your local Diabetes Pre-pregnancy Clinic

Contact details for local Diabetes Pre-pregnancy Clinics

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Health and Social Care Trust
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Western Health and Social Care Trust

View and download the Diabetes Pre-Pregnancy Poster

Diabetic Eye Screening and COVID-19

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. :

What if I notice changes to my eyesight?

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

What should I do?

For further information visit – pha.site/diabeticeye


Diabetes Foot Care Pathway

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.

More videos from the Diabetes Network NI are available click here (vimeo.com/showcase/diabetes-network)

Diabetes and Prescribing

Title and link to downloadDescriptionDate
Prescribing of FreeStyle LibreLetter to HSC Trusts' Chief Executives4th December 2017
Prescribing of FreeStyle LibreLetter to GP Practices and Community Pharmacists6th November 2017
Community Pharmacy and GP Letter - Freestyle Libre 2Letter to Community Pharmacists and GPs26th February 2021
HSCB Letter Freestyle Libre (Flash Glucose Monitoring Pathway)Letter to HSC Trusts' Chief Executives4th December 2017
Pathway for the Managed Access of FreeStyle Libre®Guidance4th December 2017

Freestyle Libre 2® Flash Glucose Monitoring system

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between the Freestyle Libre 1 system and the FreeStyle Libre 2 system?

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.)

2. Do I require a new reader to scan the FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor?

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:

3. What do I need to do if I scan using the App on my phone?

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.

4. What do I need to do if I scan using a reader?

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)

You can do this in one of 2 ways:

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.

Please note:

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

5. What about driving?

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.

Contact us

Diabetes Network Programme – Office team members

Clinical Director – Dr Hamish Courtney

Clinical Director – vacant

Commissioning Lead – Ms Sophie Lusby

Programme Lead – Joanne McKissick – Joanne.McKissick@hscni.net

Project Manager – Vacant

Project Manager – Rachel Leonard – Rachel.Leonard@hscni.net

Administrator – diabetes.network@hscni.net

Diabetes Network Members – service users and carers

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.

Service user and carers representative information and claim forms

Title and link to downloadDescriptionDate
HSC Guidance on reimbursement of expensesHSC Guidance on reimbursement of out of pocket expenses.6th August 2020
HSC Reimbursement claim formService user, carer or stakeholder: Reimbursement of expenses - Claim Form6th August 2020
PPI - Reimbursement guide for service users and carersPersonal Public Involvement (PPI) - How to claim back your money for expenses – a guide for service
users and carers.
6th August 2020
Role - Service User or Carer RepresentativeDescription of the role of the service user and/or carer representative.6th August 2020
Service User and Carer ChecklistHSC Quality Improvement Service User and Carer Checklist - What you need to consider and what you need to do.6th August 2020


More links to useful information