YES (Youth Empowerment Skills): A stepping stone for diabetes self care and empowerment


Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust's Youth Empowerment Skills (YES) programme works with young people with diabetes, who have low levels of engagement with diabetes care, from socially deprived areas in South London. YES was co-designed and co-delivered by young people and aims to foster self-confidence and strengthen engagement with diabetes care. The programme contrasts with traditional education models for diabetes as it uses novel educational strategies: key features include outreach work and innovative learning styles, including simulations, peer-led sessions and fun activities (such as climbing or going out for a meal). It uses social media to keep young people in touch with each other, encouraging social networking and the delivery of peer-to-peer support. A clinically important fall in HbA1c has been seen in participants so far.


Adolescence is when a person's identification with a disease is formed. This is a high risk period in which diabetes is often poorly controlled and there is a high incidence of unplanned hospital admissions. In addition, in this period many young people acquire maladaptive coping styles that can have enduring harmful consequences. In the local population of 232 young people between age 14-21, 35 patients were not attending any diabetes care appointments or retinal screening. The remaining 192 patients attended at least one appointment over the last two years however, 26% missed more than 50% of their appointments. The team recognised that a new approach was needed that would reach out and appeal to young people.


To co-design and co-deliver with young people an innovative model of education to enhance engagement, promote positive coping styles and resilience, provide social resources and support, and improve health outcomes for young people with diabetes.

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QiC Diabetes Highly Commended 2016
Empowering People with Diabetes – Children, Young People and Emerging Adults
YES (Youth Empowerment Skills): A stepping stone for diabetes self care and empowerment
by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust


Dr.Dulmini Kariyawasam

Job title:
Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Place of work:
Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
020 7188 1981

Quality In Care Diabetes

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  • 2021 KEY DATES
  • Open for entry:
    Tuesday 20 April 2021
  • Entry deadline: Friday 2 July 2021
  • Judging day:
    Tuesday 7 September 2021
  • Awards ceremony:
    Thursday 14 October 2021