The town of Swindon in Wiltshire has been recognised for its work in raising awareness and treating diabetes, especially among vulnerable groups in the community.
With the poor and people from Asian and black ethnic groups especially at risk from developing the metabolic condition, the town has introduced programmes such as Pacesetters, run by the Department of Health and NHS Swindo, which targets the difficulties they experience. The programme help patients with diabetes to self-manage their condition, as well as increasing awareness and knowledge of diabetes and its treatment, and the importance of attending clinics as part of their treatment.
To assess services for diabetics in Swindo, a task force has been set up to meet with a range of groups and professionals. At a recent visit of the group to a doctor’s surgery, over 300 registered diabetes patients, mostly from black, minority and ethnic (BME) faith groups, were found not to be attending regular appointments. Stephen Taylor, director of law and democratic services at the local borough council, commented “The task group felt that as diabetes prevalence is generally higher in the BME group, follow-up appointments should be encouraged and that this is an area where some further work could be beneficial.”
Swindon has been recognised nationally for its work among these groups, and is also working with the charity Diabetes UK on their Community Champions project to recruit volunteers to help increase diabetes awareness within diverse groups.

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