A chance to talk this Diabetes Week – by Chris Askew

Each year, Diabetes Week gives everyone here at Diabetes UK, our many thousands of supporters across the UK, and all those living with or affected by diabetes the opportunity to reflect on the needs of people with diabetes. We celebrate our achievements together and look to ways of improving even further the dialogue around this serious condition.

This year is no different: for Diabetes Week 2018 (11-17 June) our theme is talk about diabetes. Living with diabetes isn’t easy and – for many affected by the condition, or who care for someone who does – talking about it can be even harder. That’s why we want to take the opportunity to help people with diabetes have honest, open conversations about their condition with healthcare professionals, friends and family.

After all, positive conversations can open the door to better care, better treatment at school and in the workplace and a better quality of life for everyone. Diabetes Week presents, then, the perfect opportunity for all of us to look at how we talk about diabetes and to ensure that everyone in the diabetes community feels supported and understood.

To help make this possible, we’ve produced a series of top tips designed to help navigate complex, embarrassing or uncomfortable conversations about diabetes. We’ve produced tips to help people living with diabetes get the most out of a conversation with a healthcare professional; tips to help approach a conversation with someone living with the condition and – importantly – tips to help healthcare professionals themselves ensure a conversation with their patients with diabetes is useful, respectful and effective.

We are incredibly proud to have been involved with the development of Language Matters – a new guide for healthcare professionals – which NHS England have launched this morning. This important, timely document sets out clear guidelines for healthcare professionals, helping them put the person’s needs first, to consider the impact of the language they use, and produce the best outcome.

There are plenty of ways for you to get involved, so whether you’re living with diabetes, care for someone who does, or you simply want to understand more about the condition, get involved on our social media channels using #TalkAboutDiabetes, or join the conversation on our website.

Tell us your top tip

Top tips on talking about diabetes to friends and family

Top tips on talking about diabetes with a healthcare professional

Top tips on talking about diabetes with an employer

Dr Partha Kar’s blog on why he’s so proud to have worked on Language Matters

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