Diabetes Virtual School

In England, just 5.9% of people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes attended structured education on managing their condition in 2014/15. Research has shown that the reasons vary from a lack of awareness and poor referrals, poor logistics (some of the courses take a few hours and this is hard to fit in with other commitments) and a general aversion to attending a group session. For some, the prospect of a face to face group session discussing private issues can be highly off-putting.

Our Diabetes Virtual School (DVS) is an online, personalised learning school for people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It is an interactive, structured, online education programme with resources for patients to self-educate and manage their condition.

Background

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing health threats. The prevalence of Diabetes globally has been increasing. In the UK, there are currently around 3.8million people living with Diabetes (9% of the adult population), and by 2035 this is expected to increase to 6.25million.

Poorly managed Diabetes can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations leading to disability and premature mortality.

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Diabetes affects every part of the body. Every week Diabetes leads to:

  • Over 460 early deaths
  • Over 560 people experiencing strokes
  • Over 140 lower limb amputations
  • Over 270 people needing renal replacement therapy
  • Over 1,850 people experiencing heart attacks or heart failure

The cost of Diabetes

Everyday around 700 people are diagnosed with Diabetes. That’s one person every two minutes. This costs the NHS £1million an hour. That’s 10% of the entire NHS budget.

The case for investing in Diabetes prevention and management is strong. The financial burden alone is huge. Around £10billion a year is spent by the NHS on treating Diabetes. The costs are expected to rise to £39.8million by 2035. It is a chronic and complex illness that requires continuing clinical care and intensive self care.

People with Diabetes occupy 17% of hospital beds and over £200 million is spent managing unplanned admissions for Diabetes with an average cost per patient of £4,477.

What does the Diabetes Virtual School do?

The Diabetes Virtual School allows patients to participate in six educational modules. The core modules are:

1. What is diabetes? What is diabetes?
2. How to manage diabetes? How to manage diabetes?
3. Lifestyle, diet & exercise Lifestyle, diet & exercise
4. Medication Medication
5. Complications Complications
6. Wellbeing Wellbeing

Tell me more about the modules

Each module:

  • Is evidence based and focuses on the needs of the person;
  • Has specific aims and learning objectives;
  • Supports the person and their family in developing attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and skills to self manage Diabetes;
  • Provides a structured curriculum that is theory driven and resource effective;
  • Contains content designed and delivered by trained educators and skilled and experienced experts including
    • GPs,
    • a diabetologist,
    • a dietician,
    • a Diabetes nurse,
    • fitness coaches
    • and trainers and behaviour change experts;
  • Includes structured education and behaviour change tools.

The school can be viewed on multiple devices including mobile phones, tablets or desktop/laptop (fully responsive and adaptive).

Content is delivered in a fun, interactive format and includes case studies, animations, videos, and interactive exercises.

Additional optional modules are also proposed for late 2018, covering special conditions such as pregnancy, and we will also include a module on Type 1 Diabetes in 2019.

The school will be quality assured and reviewed regularly by trained, competent, independent assessors.

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