The NHS has published six principles of good peer support for people with type 1 diabetes as it claims help from others in the same position is beneficial for those living with the condition.
According to the diabetes community, a key benefit of peer support is access to the help from peers who also deal with such issues day in, day out.
Peer support helps people learn to live with type 1 diabetes, day-to-day, giving them the confidence, knowledge and support required to manage the complexities of living with a long-term-condition.
Claire Reidy, Chris Bright, Alex Silverstein, Muhammad Irfan Ismail, Shaun Carpenter and Emma Doble all have type 1 diabetes and helped develop the six principles, alongside the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fountain and Diabetes UK.
They said: “As individuals living with type 1 diabetes from varying and diverse backgrounds, we feel these six principles provide a solid foundation of what peer support should look like.
“Our experiences of peer support have allowed us to develop these fundamentals collaboratively, utilising an approach which is inclusive and person-centred.”
The six principles include:
Aimee Robson, Deputy Director, Personalised Care, NHS England said: “The publication of ‘The six principles of good peer support for people living with Type 1 diabetes’ is particularly well-placed given this context and the recent integration of health and care by the establishment of local Integrated Care Systems (ICS).
“It has been produced specifically for anyone looking to run or commission a peer support group for those with type 1 diabetes.”
She added: “This document outlines our general support for peer support as a part of our commitment to making personalised care business as usual within the NHS, as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.”
Partha Kar, National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes, NHS England, said: “Type 1 diabetes is challenging – full stop.
“In the backdrop of an NHS where workforce pressures abound, we need to remember a long-term condition such as type 1 diabetes hinges on three planks- self management, peer support and access to trained professionals.”
He added: “Peer support is an under recognised if not underutilised support to improve health. This piece of work is a welcome step forward and hopefully sets the template for peer support being as much a fundamental part of type 1 diabetes care as education and technology.
“We as health care professionals and commissioners need to understand and appreciate how much those living with type 1 diabetes can help us achieve our common goal of better care.”
He concluded: “In the words of T’Challa “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges; the foolish build barriers”.
“This is our moment in the NHS to build bridges and help the type 1 diabetes community come together.”
For more information and to access the principles, click here.
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