Fiona Faure, Diabetes Voice
Why did you decide to join Diabetes Voices?
My decision to join Diabetes Voices was as a result of David Jones from the User Involvment Team telling me about the newly formed Diabetes Voices group and introducing me to some of the team members at one of the training events. I liked what I heard about the group and immediately signed up and have not regretted that decision! I really enjoy being a member of Diabetes Voices as I have met many like minded people who have formed some genuine friendships. I am passionate about raising awareness and campaigning for persons with diabetes whether it be for the children with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or adults with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. I raise awareness daily in my own time and find it very rewarding.
You are currently a Service Champion. Have you noticed any improvements in your area since working with the network?
Yes, I have noticed improvements locally. I am currently working with the Childrens Commissioner to improve paediatric diabetes care in the local hospital and I am also working with the Clinical Commissioning Group Commissioners and Diabetes Lead together with Diabetes UK to improve the adult diabetes care (both Type 1 and Type 2) in the West Essex area. This has resulted in a new diabetes service being launched shortly.
What are you doing to support Diabetes UK’s children’s campaign?
The current children’s campaign relates to the ten essential healthcare checks every child should expect to receive from their diabetes team. I initially joined the e-campaign by doing a quick email to my MP Eleanor Laing to raise awareness. I then forwarded a copy of that letter to the local Clinical Commissioning Group to make them aware of the ten checks. This resulted in an invitation to meet with the local Children’s Commissioner to discuss paediatric diabetes services. In two weeks time, my daughter and I will be meeting with our MP, Eleanor Laing, to raise awareness of these ten healthcare essentials. At the same time, I have been working with Essex County Council in relation to children with diabetes in schools and the new draft Children and Families Bill.
What is your focus/goal for the next year?
I have two main goals for next year. One will be to continue to campaign for change relating to children with diabetes in school. I would like to ensure that schools and their staff do not simply overlook children with diabetes who DO NOT have special educational needs (learning difficulties) come September 2014 when it is anticipated that the amended Children and Families Bill will come into effect. I would like to work with the Essex County Council Special Educational Needs Department to ensure that ALL children with diabetes in school are cared for whether or not the child has been made a local offer (this is the new document that will replace a child’s current statement or funding). I would also like to continue to campaign for diabetes care in schools to become legislation and not merely guidance. My second main goal will be to continue to improve transition services for young persons from paediatric clinics into adult clinics as well as improve adult diabetes services including elderly patients in care homes.
What advice would you give to other people who want to get involved?
If you are unsure whether or not to join, I would suggest you join anyway! You get regular email notifications of opportunities you can get involved with and there is absolutely NO OBLIGATION on you as a member to participate in any of the opportunities. I have no doubt that you will get involved as there is so much on offer. You do not have to be an expert in diabetes to participate in this group as the support of the Diabetes Voices staff is fantastic and they are able to provide you with information at the drop of a hat. I love this group as it is people who are all passionate about improving the life of people living with diabetes!
If you would like to campaign for better diabetes care sign up to Diabetes Voices. We’ll let you know about all of the ways you can take action to support our campaigns. Sign up here.