Professional and patient education is the cornerstone for all such activities and is our focus.
Our research led to the development of the CHOICE structured diabetes education programme that has been offered to all young people (<16 years) and their families (usually within 6 months of diagnosis) for over 10 years.
The programmes of work within Diabetes care include:
Research on diabetes self management
A recent programme of work funded by Diabetes UK focussed on organisational and personal issues that reduce uptake of structured diabetes self-management programmes in the UK. This led to the development of a toolkit for health care professionals and adolescents with type 1 diabetes and another for adults with type 2 diabetes, currently being finalised, in addition to five peer reviewed publications.
The ORBIT Study (Overcoming and Removing Barriers to Injectable Therapy) involved developing and testing a structured education programme for adults with Type 2 diabetes. This evidence based pack is now available for others who wish to help patients overcome the inertia surrounding starting injectable therapy.
Reducing unscheduled hospital admissions
Currently we are leading an exciting multi-partner study in 3 countries (N Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland), that aims to safely reduce unscheduled hospital admission and length of stay through enhanced clinical decision support for people with diabetes, their families and health care staff.
This €9 million cross-border research project is part of the EU’s INTERREG VA programme.
The partnerships mentioned above in the EU funded study include colleagues from: University of the Highlands and Islands and NHS Scotland, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Letterkenny University Hospital, Voscuris [a healthcare technology company specialising in patient engagement] and the Centre for Personalised Medicine in the Clinical Translational Research & Innovation Centre in NI.
Through our work with the Diabetes-Self-Management Alliance, collaborators include colleagues from NUIG [National university of Ireland Galway], Ireland, Steno Diabetes Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark, University of Leicester, UK and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
We work closely with Diabetes UK, the main diabetes charity supporting patients and staff in the UK, particularly in relation to Diabetes UK: Diabetes Research Steering Group 5 and the research funding panels.
Collaborative work relating to health inequalities for those with long term conditions has been underway for a number of years with colleagues from the School of Public Health, University of Maryland, USA.