Diabetes service founder shortlisted for prestigious award

A Health Psychologist who set up a dedicated service to provide emotional support and care for
diabetes patients has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Dr Kate Hamilton-West, Addaction’s Health Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Kent’s Centre for Health Services Studies, was shortlisted for the University Innovation Award, which recognises the success of its academics, partner businesses and organisations.

Addaction’s Diabetes Psychology Services was set up as a pilot project in 2012 and funded by the former Strategic Health Authority, in response to Government plans to extend the benefits of improved access to talking therapies to a wider range of people including those with long-term conditions.

After the success of the pilot, the service was fully adopted by Addaction and now offers people in Kent and Medway who have diabetes, psychological support for living with and managing the condition.

Addaction’s mental health practitioners have been trained to provide specialist assessments and
interventions for clients with diabetes using a ‘concordance therapy’ approach. This involves
working with the patient to develop a shared understanding of their diabetes and its impact, as well as identifying sources of support for managing the condition, developing effective coping strategies and self-management routines.

An online training tool has also been designed for GPs and other health professionals, which focuses on the psychological impacts of diabetes and the factors that may affect an individual’s capacity to manage and cope with the condition. The training can also be accessed by people who have diabetes and their relatives.

A report on the development of the Diabetes Psychology Service and online training tool has also been accepted for publication in the journal Diabetes and Primary Care in June.

Dr Kate Hamilton West, said: “I’m really pleased that the Diabetes Psychology Service is now
available across Kent as part of Addaction’s ongoing service provision. Outcome data shows that people are benefiting from the treatments provided and service user feedback has been very positive. We are currently working with local clinicians, service providers and diabetes groups to raise awareness of the service so that more people can benefit”.

For more information about the Diabetes Psychology Service and the online training tool, visit
http://www.thinkaction.org.uk/get-help/treatment/diabetes-psychology-service/ or email: diabetes.project@kca.org.uk

People with diabetes can be referred by their GP to the service or they can make a self-referral by calling on 0300 012 0012.

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