HeLP-Diabetes has around 800 users and is an evidence-based
programme which takes a holistic view of self-management, focusing
on medical, emotional and role management. The University College
London project offers ongoing support for patients and carers.
Features include behaviour change support (with goal setting, action plans, reminders and feedback);
emotional support (computerised cognitive behavioural therapy tools, mindfulness, online moderated
forum); an online health record where patients can input their own health related information and set
text/email reminders for themselves; and regular newsletters, emails and SMS alerting users to updated
content, new research findings, and directing them to specific (seasonally relevant) areas of the website.
Benefits for patients include reduced diabetes-related distress, improved glycaemic control, accessibility,
convenience, privacy and access to clinically informed and trusted information. Developed as a research
programme, it is now being rolled out nationally and has been adopted in four London CCGs.
Good self-management is key to improving health outcomes for people with diabetes. However, despite NICE
recommending that everyone with type 2 diabetes should be offered structured education at diagnosis with annual
reinforcement, and incentivisation of GPs to refer through QOF, take-up remains low with only 5.3% of eligible
patients attending in 2014–15 (National Diabetes Audit). One reason for this may be that most of the current
education offered by the NHS is delivered in a group setting, which is not convenient or suitable for some people.
To develop, evaluate and implement a web-based self-management programme for people with type 2
diabetes (at any stage of their illness journey) with the goal of improving access to, and uptake of, structured
education and self-management support, hence improving health outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
To enable people with type 2 diabetes to take control of their health and lead happier, healthier lives.
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