Teaching and education

Teaching For Patients

Understanding Diabetes
Group Education sessions for subjects with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

These are open to all patients with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, whether they have been referred to the hospital diabetes clinic or are staying under the care of their GP. All such patients should attend and will be expected to attend. This is because these sessions pass on such important information about living with diabetes and are part of the treatment plan for the patient with new diabetes. At present, these sessions are only available to English speaking patients, but patients can attend with a relative or a friend.

The sessions are run by a Diabetes Specialist Nurse, a Diabetes Dietitian and a Specialist Diabetes Podiatrist (Chiropodist). Various subjects are covered, including the management of diabetes, home monitoring, diet and foot care. The atmosphere is very relaxed and patients are encouraged to ask any questions they have.

GPs are sent a list of dates and times and a sample invitation letter by Jill Lankester, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, once the dates are organised for the year. GPs can send patients up with no appointments or phone calls being necessary.

Patients are also invited to attend an education session after referral to hospital services. This includes patients newly referred to the hospital diabetes clinic and patients with type 2 diabetes newly diagnosed while on the hospital wards or in the Accident & Emergency Department.

Please note that the Diabetes Nurses do not go through their expected patient list and do not re-invited patients did not attend. GPs and Practice Nurses must check with the patient whether they have attended and if not, must encourage them to attend. Hospital Diabetes Clinic Doctors must check with the patient whether they have attended and if not, ask the clinic receptionist to give the patient a date / appointment for a group education session.

For further information, contact the Diabetes Specialist Nurses on 020-7288-3490/3344

Diabetes and Endocrine Team Education

The Diabetes and Endocrinology Departments have weekly meetings to discuss patient management issues and new research. The firm also manages medical inpatients and therefore the topics also include new developments in general medicine. Speakers include members of the department and invited outside speakers.

Meetings are held in the Undergraduate Seminar Room, The Great Northern Building, on every Tuesday. Lunch is at 12.45 pm and the meeting starts at 1.00 pm, with questions and answers from 1.30 – 1.45 pm.

The meetings are open to staff outside the Diabetes / Endocrine team, but please inform Dr Maria Barnard if you wish to attend (Tel. 020-7288-5218)

Teaching For GPs and Practice Nurses

1. Visits to GP Practices Members of the Diabetes Department visit local GP Practices on an informal basis, to improve the links with primary care and to strength the local provision of diabetes care. Different types of visits can be arranged. These include:

  • Visits with various members of the diabetes team, including Diabetes Consultant, to discuss patient management issues and pathways of care (contact Dr Maria Barnard).
  • Visits from co-ordinators of our shared care projects, including the Community Optometry Diabetic Eye Screening Programme and the Prompted Community Diabetes Care Scheme. These visits may enable GP Practices to enrol all their patients with diabetes onto these schemes or allow the GP Practices to discuss the problems and solutions in setting up a Practice Diabetes Patient Register (contact Shirley Burnett or Maria Christofi).
  • Visits from the Diabetes Specialist Nurses to teach Practice Nurse and GPs how to manage and start patients with type 2 diabetes on insulin (contact Jill Lankester).


Dr Maria Barnard: 020 7288 5218

Shirley Burnett: 020 7288 3173

Maria Christofi: 020 7288 3173

Jill Lankester: 020 7288 3490

2. Clinical Assistantships in Diabetes for Practice Nurses

The aim of this scheme is to expand the practical knowledge of the Practice Nurse in the day to day management of diabetes. The course runs over 12 weeks, with one lunchtime teaching session and one afternoon practical management session per week. The number of Practice Nurses involved is deliberately kept low, with only 2 enrolled for each course. This enables us to provide intensive one-to-one teaching and hands on supervised practical experience, with the hospital Diabetes Specialist Nurses. All diabetes management topics are covered, with additional teaching from the Diabetes Dietitian, the Diabetes Specialist Podiatrist, the Community Eye Screening Co-ordinator and the Diabetes Consultants.

Contact: Jill Lankester: 020 7288 3490

3. Accreditation Course in Diabetic Foot Care

This scheme accredits primary care providers (GPs and Practice Nurses) in management of the diabetic foot. Once accredited, this allows the GP or Practice Nurse to refer patients with diabetes and complicated foot problems directly to the hospital Diabetes Specialist Podiatrist. Through this referral, they also gain access for their patients to the specialist hospital services, including Radiology, Microbiology, Vascular Surgery, Aircasts, bespoke footwear and review by the Diabetes Consultant Physician (Dr Maria Barnard) where indicated. The scheme is for GPs and Practice Nurses who provide a high level of diabetes care. The patients remain under the direct management of the GP Practice and are not transferred to the hospital diabetes clinic. We therefore insist that both a GP and a Practice Nurse attend from an individual GP Practice, as the GP will be directing the patient’s medical and antibiotic therapy. The course is a half day session with interactive practical hands on teaching. The feedback has been excellent.

Contact: Maria Christofi: 020 7288 3173

Teaching for Nurses (Practice Nurses, Ward Nurses, District/Community Nurses)

The Diabetes Specialist Nurses organise a nurse study day twice a year, for updating staff in diabetes. These courses are for Practice Nurses, Ward Nurses and District/Community Nurses. The study days are also advertised on the hospital intranet, fliers are sent to local practices and the Diabetes Specialist Nurses also directly invite interested ward staff.

Dates for Diabetes Update Study Days:
February 7th, 2003
September 12th, 2003