DRWF Events: Diabetes Wellness Day Midlands report
DRWF Event Co-ordinator Lee Calladine reports from the recent successful return to Warwickshire for the first educational event for people living with diabetes in three years.
It had been three years since our last Diabetes Wellness Day Midlands at Chesford Grange in Kenilworth, so we were incredibly excited and a little nervous about how this first post-pandemic foray would be received by people living with diabetes across the Midlands region.
Those worries were quickly dispelled when, just like our Diabetes Wellness Day South back in May, it was very clear that people were ready to welcome back to this popular event to learn more about managing their diabetes and meet other people in the diabetes community.
Almost 100 people registered to join us, and we welcomed them to the hotel bright and early at 8.45am on Saturday, 24th September to begin the day's proceedings. On arrival, fresh tea and coffee was served and attendees had the chance to spend an hour visiting the exhibition stands to meet and chat with the visiting experts like the specialist diabetes podiatry team, the regional retinal screening team, traders with their array of diabetes accessories and even the regional fire brigade offering home safety checks, before beginning the first talk of the day.
First up, Dr Mayank Patel, Consultant in Diabetes from University Hospital Southampton, and member of the DRWF Editorial Advisory Board, took us on ‘The Fantastic Journey’ in which we had an historic look back at the history of insulin, the different types of diabetes tablets, insulin delivery devices and major advances in diabetes management for people with all forms of diabetes since Banting and Best delivered the first insulin injection to Leonard Thompson 100 years ago. Dr Patel guided us decade by decade right up to present day and concluded with a look forward to what treatments are likely to come next and in the future.
After another break to visit the exhibition stands, delegates reconvened for Dr Parijat De, Consultant Physician in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer and Jo Lloyd, Diabetes Specialist Nurse from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, to host their popular questions and answers hour, where everyone got the opportunity to put their diabetes related questions to these returning Wellness Day experts.
After a very nice and healthy buffet lunch of salads, baked potatoes and lots of different fillings to choose from, Ian Flavell, Diabetes Specialist Podiatrist from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust delivered a key and important session on ‘Diabetes and self-care of the foot’ where he covered many aspects of foot care for people living with diabetes including the importance of attending screening and good diabetes management, consequences of poor control, problems caused by neuropathy, how to keep your feet safe, the importance of good footwear and how to care for diabetes-related foot complications.
One final break for refreshments and a last chance to visit the exhibitors was followed by the most asked about topic, ‘Diabetes and diet for good health,’ which was delivered by DRWF friend, volunteer and Specialist Dietitian and Nutritionist, Lisa Poole. Lisa explored the different food groups and their relationship with diabetes management, the role of carbohydrates and their effect on blood-glucose levels and some of the current recommended management programmes such as the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme for type 2 diabetes and weight loss programmes, including the soups and shakes diet and others. We handed out different size portions of food items to get the attendees brains working to guess the carb contents.
A perfect session to end a perfect day and give us food for thought to take home with us.
Thank you to everyone that joined us for the day, our fantastic speakers who gave up their time to support the event, the visiting experts for sharing their knowledge, our wonderful volunteers who we couldn't do it without and of course the attendees who we look forward to seeing again in 2023