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Galway University Hospitals’ Diabetes Team wins 2013 Healthcare Award

An initiative to introduce structured education programmes for people with diabetes by the Diabetes Education Team at Galway University Hospitals has won the “Patient Lifestyle Education Project” category at the Irish Medical Times 2013 Healthcare Awards.
The project involves providing structured training to people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes so that they can develop the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully self manage their chronic illness.
The programme for people with type 1 diabetes is called DAFNE or Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating and the Diabetes Team delivers this course up to seven times per year. The programme comprises a five day course with a booster session 6-8 weeks later and is delivered by two trained diabetes educators (diabetes nurse specialist and diabetes dietitian) to groups of eight people at a time.
The programme for people with type 2 diabetes is called DESMOND or Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed and this programme is delivered in the community by specially trained diabetes nurse specialists and dietitians. The programme runs every two weeks and is either one full day or two half days.
Both programmes are now part of routine diabetes care. The team have scientific evidence to show that the DAFNE programme (for people with type 1 diabetes) has reduced hospital admissions and has reduced the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia. In addition, people who follow the DAFNE programme have improved quality of life and treatment satisfaction and reduced levels of depression, anxiety and diabetes-related distress.
People who follow the DESMOND programme have shown improved glycaemic control and the programme also supports weight reduction, acts as an effective smoking cessation intervention, leads to improved levels of physical activity, reduced depression and improved quality of life.
Speaking of the achievement Dr Sean Dinneen said, “Through the dedication and commitment of busy healthcare professionals and with the support of senior management in the West / North West Hospitals Group, Galway Primary Community and Continuing Care (PCCC) and NUI Galway we have succeeded in changing the emphasis of our diabetes service from one that was very provider orientated to one that is now very patient centred.
“We have been delivering the DAFNE and DESMOND structured diabetes education programmes in addition to usual diabetes care over the past 6 to 7 years and we have seen the merits of the approach. Now in 2013 these programmes, and the self management message that goes with them, have become incorporated into our diabetes service and are part of the way we deliver care.
“The funding for these initiatives has come from a variety of sources including our own charitable funds (Diabetes Care West Charity), the Hospital Group, PCCC support and a Health Services R&D programme grant awarded by the Irish Health Research Board to evaluate the DAFNE approach in Ireland.
“These programmes would not be possible without the dedication of our educator, research and administration staff. It is our aim to continue to strive towards improving care and services for people with diabetes”.
Photo Caption:
The Diabetes Education Team at Galway University Hospitals won the “Patient Lifestyle Education Project” category at the Irish Medical Times 2013 Healthcare Awards; photographed receiving the award from left: Bernadette McDonnell, Diabetes Nurse Specialist and DAFNE Educator; Dr Sean Dinneen, Consultant Physician and Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, NUI Galway; Mary Clare O’Hara, Diabetes Education Project Manager and Researcher; and Carmel Murphy, Senior Diabetes Dietitian and DAFNE Educator.