An NHS director has warned during Mental Health Awareness Week that services for diabetes care and mental health must be improved.
Anne Moore, Group Nurse Director for Safer Care at Northumberland Tyne and Wear (NTW) NHS Foundation Trust, will be speaking at the Diabetes Professional Care 2018 (DPC2018) conference in November. She is advising healthcare professionals to be more aware of the links between diabetes and mental health, stressing that they “must not be overlooked”.
People with diabetes have a greater risk of mental health problems, but there is support available and it is possible to overcome problems such as anxiety and depression. Our Diabetes Forum has long provided a platform for users to discuss their stories, and it is important to chat with your healthcare professional if you are experiencing mental health difficulties.
Ms Moore has identified some key areas which she hopes will further improve care. These include collaborative and patient-centred diabetes care planning and targeted training for staff in mental health.
She also suggests that pathways across acute and primary care services should be integrated to support people with diabetes who also suffer from mental health issues. Her team at NTW has already introduced a series of initiatives which is hoped will improve health outcomes.
Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs between 14-20 May, is focusing on tackling stress this year.
Ms Moore hopes raising awareness of mental health issues faced by the diabetes community will improve knowledge among healthcare professionals when it comes to addressing treatment.
“I don’t believe this is as widely understood across primary care and secondary acute and diabetes specialist teams as it should be,” she said.
“I think the key is educating healthcare professionals who work within the diabetes field so they can know more about the impact of pharmacology and the challenges in managing mental health conditions alongside diabetes, which will ultimately improve outcomes for patients.
“In addition, by increasing the knowledge of effective care and treatment of diabetes for staff in mental health teams, we can provide patient-centred care.”
The DPC2018 conference will be taking place at London’s Olympia on 14 and 15 November.

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