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Helping people with learning disabilities understand diabetes

People with learning disabilities can find it difficult to understand and manage any health conditions or illnesses they may have, often because NHS services and resources haven’t been designed to meet the specific needs of people with learning disabilities which means many people do not use the health services and support that are available to them.

Tacking the health inequalities people with learning disabilities face is a priority for us so we are committed to delivering projects that make it easier for the people we support to access healthcare services so they have better health outcomes.

‘Understanding Type 2 Diabetes’ is a brand new six-week course that we are running in the South Tyneside area that is designed specifically for people with learning disabilities who have Type 2 diabetes. The course covers important information in an accessible way, including what is diabetes, looking after your health, the role of eating healthily and exercising to control diabetes and feeling good and how to access support.

The course was developed by Skills for People in collaboration with North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network and Your Voice Counts with funding from the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System in South Tyneside. It is being offered initially to patients at Imeary St, Marsden Road and Wawn Street GP surgeries in South Shields.

Lindsay Henderson, Head of Communities at Your Voice Counts, said:

“It is widely known across our sector that people with learning disabilities on average die much younger than other people and we know that this is often because they find it much harder to access health services.

"The right support and education can make a big difference to how a person manages a long-term health condition such as Type 2 diabetes so we are very excited to be delivering this accessible course, which is tailored to the needs of people with learning disabilities in a welcoming and relaxed environment.

"We hope the people who get involved have fun meeting new friends, improve their understanding and most importantly make some positive changes to their health in future.”


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