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Wellsouth leads NZ in diabetes management

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Finding a better way to help patients manage diabetes prompted WellSouth to introduce the international DESMOND programme throughout Otago and Southland, with the potential to train staff in other District Health Boards. 

 WellSouth Nurse Director Wendy Findlay said the Southern Primary Health Network was looking for an evidence based programme which would help people make better lifestyle choices by enabling them to take control of their diabetes management. Research led them to DESMOND, the standard diabetic care in the UK since 2003.

 DESMOND stands for Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed. Diabetes is a growing healthcare problem with more than 225,000 New Zealanders with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and 50 additional people diagnosed with diabetes daily. 

 Good management of Type 2 diabetes improves quality of life for those with the condition and helps to prevent complications and reduce hospital admissions. WellSouth has trained five clinical staff and two Te Kakano community nurses to deliver the DESMOND programme. Since then they have delivered 34 sessions throughout Otago and Southland including; Dunedin, Invercargill, Palmerston, Winton, Tuatapere and Gore. 

 The six--hour DESMOND group sessions led by WellSouth nurses educate a maximum of 10 people with Type 2 diabetes. Since its introduction in earlier this year WellSouth has helped 185 Otago and Southland residents and their support people to manage Type 2 diabetes. Resources include patient support material designed to fit the empowering philosophy. 

 Participants are supported rather than formally taught, to inform the goals and plans they make for themselves about managing their own diabetes. Wendy Findlay says WellSouth presented the programme at a recent national clinicians conference with other PHOs showing an interest in rolling out the programme. 

 WellSouth is planning to train its educators in ‘train the trainer’ so they can share the programme across the country. WellSouth is also reviewing opportunities to roll out a DESMOND programme for patients identified with pre--diabetes. DESMOND NUMBERS: 34 education sessions delivered throughout Otago and Southland 185 Type 2 diabetes patients received education on diabetes management.

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