DPC launches free digital hub amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Editor
15th May 2020
Care planning, Technology

Key opinion leaders have been lined up to host a series of webinars to further understand the educational needs of healthcare professionals in relation to COVID-19 and diabetes.

The online workshops have been launched as part of the brand new Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) Digital Hub, which also brings together the latest guidelines, toolkits and videos. All the content is free to access, although users must sign up to take part in each webinar.

DPC founder Maggie Meer said: “We’re all aware of how challenging the current situation is, but diabetes education is still needed especially in the middle of a pandemic. During these unprecedented times when face-to-face contact is restricted, we wanted to find a way we could deliver vital content from some of the nation’s key opinion leaders in diabetes.

“We hope you will find the content engaging, relevant and valuable and we would like to thank all our contributors for their time so we could make these online resources available.”

The first hour-long webinar has been scheduled to take place Thursday, May 21 from 545pm. Dr Emma Wilmot MB ChB BSc (hons) PhD FRCP, Dr Mark Davies, Dr Charles Fox and Dr Anne Kilvert have been lined up to take part in the workshop entitled, ‘Minimising the emotional disconnect in your consultations’.

Diabetes distress

Dr Kilvert and Dr Fox were asked to take part in the talk because of their experience running the Knuston Diabetes Counselling and Empowerment Course, founded in 1987. This course was set up to specifically train healthcare professionals to acknowledge and counsel people with diabetes-related distress.

Dr Charles Fox at DPC last year

Dr Fox said: “Some of the information coming from the Government is pretty frightening. We already know that 18 to 35 per cent of people with diabetes experience diabetes distress and I believe this could get even worse, the longer this pandemic continues.

“Both of us are part of a WhatsApp group of diabetes specialists, many of whom are on the coronavirus frontline. Diabetes comes up a lot in the group, but mental health hasn’t been mentioned at all.”

Both doctors are concerned that many people could be experiencing diabetes distress during the pandemic, which often goes unrecognised.

Dr Kilvert added: “To put diabetes distress in the context of COVID-19, one of the main causes of concern for people is if their blood glucose levels are high and they are not able to get them down. At the moment, a lot of people are quite rightly staying at home, but they haven’t got much to do, it’s harder to exercise and they’re more likely to eat which will increase their blood sugar levels and consequently their distress, thereby causing a vicious circle.”

Although lockdown measures have been eased slightly, most diabetes services and general practice appointments are still being carried out virtually or over the phone. Dr Kilvert said she believes this will affect the future of how diabetes care is delivered.

She added: “It will not return to the way it was before and a lot of appointments will be carried out over the phone or by video. Phone calls aren’t too bad when they are with people you know but it’s not great for new patients and you will miss out on non-verbal signs that there’s an emotional or embarrassing problem.

“During my face to face consultations I often use silence to give people the space to tell me if there’s something else going on, but silence doesn’t work well on a phone call. Video calls are better and have time-saving benefits in terms of avoiding travel and waiting rooms, but emotions are still more difficult to pick up using video.”

To sign up to take part in the webinar. click here.

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

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