What’s the main challenge for you as a practice when it comes to Diabetes?
At our practice, we have over 2,000 patients with Diabetes. It’s difficult for all of us to make healthy lifestyle changes, but I find at my practice it’s a particular challenge to help people who may have language barriers, or cultural barriers, make these changes. We know people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately affected by Diabetes, so we work really hard at my practice to help people from these backgrounds in particular to get the tools and support they need.
Why can it feel so difficult for people from different cultural backgrounds to access Diabetes care?
Some of the Diabetes programmes that are offered in England are only offered in English, which can be difficult if it’s not your first language. People from different cultures also have different attitudes to food and diets. If you’re used to cooking quite carb-heavy dishes, it can feel tricky to change that.
What do you do at your practice to help people from all backgrounds access Diabetes care?
We offer longer appointments if needed, we have leaflets and other materials translated into a range of languages, and we encourage people to talk to their families about their challenges. We also work to increase awareness of Diabetes as an illness by hosting meetings for people with Diabetes, and by providing information on our website.
If there would be one thing you could share with your colleagues about how to engage with people from all backgrounds around Diabetes care, what would it be?
The key, for me, to engaging individuals from all backgrounds is to involve family members or others who care for them. This can really help to provide the support and motivation needed for patients to make healthy lifestyle choices.