10:11pm Thursday 14 November 2019

Researchers in Dundee find people with diabetes in Scotland keen to manage their own condition

People with diabetes in Scotland have been able to access and share medical records with doctors through an NHS portal launched in December 2010, My Diabetes My Way, which has made a difference to how people can manage their own condition.

Researchers in Dundee analysed the usage and uptake of the NHS ‘My Diabetes My Way’ and found test results were the most popular area. Key findings were that on average people used the portal nine times and a total of 498 people with diabetes across all of Scotland’s 14 health boards registered to access their own information. Patients said that they found the system “timely” and “equitable” as everyone had access to the information. The project aims to have 5,000 people using the portal by the end of next year.

My Diabetes My Way (www.mydiabetesmyway.scot.nhs.uk) is the official NHS Scotland portal, which contains key diagnostic information including: demographics, laboratory, lifestyle, foot and eye screening results and prescribed medication. Changes can be tracked over time using history graphs and tables.

The system supports the self-management agenda of the Scottish Government and the objectives of the NHS Scotland Healthcare Quality Strategy. The aim is to provide as much information to individuals about their diabetes so that they can better manage their condition during the times when they are not in contact with their healthcare teams.

Lead researcher Scott Cunningham is due to present the findings today (Thursday 8 March) at the Diabetes Professional Conference at the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow.

He said: “We tailor our educational information so it is relevant to the patient at the time they are reviewing their results. The Scottish Diabetes Survey 2011 is shortly due to publish figures detailing that diabetes prevalence in Scotland is close to the 250,000 mark – nearly 5% of our population – and the burden of the disease on NHS resources continues to escalate. We already know from published research that diabetes in Scotland accounts for around 12% of hospital inpatient costs.”

Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Policy and Intelligence at Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes is a lifelong condition and people with diabetes have to manage their condition every day of the year. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 people in Scotland are living with Diabetes who do not know it. A further 620,000 are estimated to be at risk of developing Diabetes. It’s therefore vital that the NHS empowers people to engage in their own care. Proper management of Diabetes can make the difference in people living a long and healthy life and them developing life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

“The portal system allows people to keep a closer eye on the management of their own health. The work that is being done in Dundee is making a huge difference to people’s lives all the time and is absolutely vital for the progression of care of people with diabetes. The fact that people with all of Scotland’s 14 health boards accessed My Diabetes My Way shows progress is already being made for people to manage their own care and it is being made easier for them to do so.”

For further media information please contact Catherine Shanks or Shaun Bell at Stripe Communications on 0131 561 8628 or email diabetesuk@stripecom.co.uk.

Notes to editor:

  1. National Diabetes Audit (NDA): routine care is less effective and outcomes poorer in younger people as compared with older people who have diabetes in England – B.Young, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Salford Royal Hospital, Salford, UK, Clinical Audit Support Unit, NHS Information Centre, Leeds, UK. P141, Diabetic Medicine: Abstracts of the Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2012, March 2012, Volume 29, Supplement 1
  2. The Diabetes UK Professional Conference is one of the largest healthcare conferences in the UK. This year it is being held from 7-9 March 2012 at SECC Glasgow under the theme Diabetes: Overcoming Hurdles, Achieving Success
  3. In 2009-10 the National Diabetes Audit included 1.9 million people, 83% of those with diagnosed diabetes in England. The NDA uses Primary Care, Specialist Care and Hospital Admission data collected electronically with an approved dataset comprising NICE recommended care processes, treatment targets and diabetic complications.
  4. Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes. For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit www.diabetes.org.uk
  5. In the UK, there are 2.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 850,000 people have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it. As many as 7 million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 4 million people will have diabetes by 2015.
  6. Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed in the correct way, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.
  7. Type 1 diabetes develops if the body cannot produce any insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually appears before the age of 40, especially in childhood. It is the less common of the two types of diabetes and accounts for around 10 per cent of all people with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and it is not known why exactly it develops. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump – a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  8. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include family history, ethnicity, being overweight or having a large waist, high blood pressure, heart disease or having had a heart attack. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian people it often appears from the age of 25. Type 2 diabetes is the more common of the two main types and accounts for around 90 per cent of people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.

The Diabetes UK Professional Conference (7-9 March 2012) is the only event of its kind in the UK and will showcase the latest in diabetes research under this year’s theme ‘Diabetes: overcoming hurdles, achieving success’. The event is held exclusively for healthcare professionals and scientists working in the field of diabetes and features a packed itinerary including a series of lectures, interactive workshops and plenary session


For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
Head, Press Office
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384910
E-MAIL: r.isles@dundee.ac.uk
MOBILE: 07800 581902

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