Diabetes Education - Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions of the Derby and Derbyshire Diabetes Education Service.

If you have a question that is not answered below, please look on our other pages or contact us via email on dchst.diabetesT2education@nhs.net or telephone on 01773 525029.

1. When we receive your referral we will send an SMS (text message) to let you know.  

2. We will write to you within 2 weeks of your referral with details of our programmes. You will also get a timetable of dates and times. You will need to contact us by phone or email to book onto your chosen programme.

3. 2 weeks before your programme starts we will send you joining instructions.

  • If you have chosen the online course we will email you a Microsoft Teams link. This email will also include video links to watch before each of the 6 sessions. You will also receive your own X-PERT handbook by post along with your health information.
  • If you have chosen a face-to-face course we will send details by post along with a map of the venue. It will confirm the dates and times, and a copy of your health information.
  • Your health information is your most recent test results from your GP, if they are available. This includes details of your HbA1c, weight, BMI, cholesterol and other relevant results. We do not discuss individual results during the programme, however we help you to understand your results and how to improve them.

4. At the beginning and end of your course you will be asked to fill out some questionnaires. This helps to make sure our service is accessible to you. The feedback you give is used to improve our service. Please complete and return any questionnaires promptly. Any information you give us is kept confidential.

5. At the end of your course we will talk to you about options for further support. This may include access to weight managements courses and further support to help you manage your diabetes.

What is the difference between the X-PERT programme and Diabetes & You?

X-PERT programme:

  • Can be online or face-to-face.
  • Lasts for six weeks.
  • There is one session a week.
  • The online session is 1 hour 30 minutes each week.
  • The face-to-face session is 2 hours 30 minutes each week.
  • Looks at 4 different dietary approaches. These are Low Carb, Low Fat, Mediterranean Diet and Intermittent Fasting.
  • Includes goal setting activities.

X-PERT is an award winning programme which has been nationally accredited. This means that the programme has been recognised to deliver diabetes education by the Personalised Care Institute.

Diabetes and You:

  • A face-to-face course.
  • Lasts for half a day.
  • Gives an overview of type 2 diabetes and its management.

Both courses are led by trained diabetes educators and are group based. Read more about our Diabetes Education Programmes here.

What can I eat when I have type 2 diabetes? 

  • If you have type 2 diabetes you may feel unsure about what you can and can’t eat.
  • There isn’t a set list of what you can and can’t eat. We are all different and food affects us all differently.
  • You can support your health by understanding healthy choices around food and movement.
  • Our diabetes education programmes will help you to learn about the different ways you can support your healthy eating. You will be part of a group who are all learning together.

My diabetes symptoms are not bad. Should I wait to do a diabetes education programme?

  • It is important to start making changes as soon as possible.
  • Type 2 diabetes will get worse if it isn’t treated. This means that your changes can instantly help your health.
  • Going on a diabetes education programme means you can make these changes more quickly and your health can be supported. The sooner you go on an education programme, the sooner you can self-manage your diabetes. 

I don’t think I have diabetes as I was ‘borderline’. Why should I do the education? 

  • Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. This blood test is called a HbA1c Blood Test.
  • If your blood test showed that your blood glucose was 48mmol or higher, then you have type 2 diabetes.
  • If your blood test was between 42mmol and 47mmol then you would be ‘pre-diabetic’.
  • If you have been referred to Diabetes Education, it means your blood glucose was 48mmol or higher.
  • If you are not sure about your diagnosis, then it is important to talk to your GP Surgery.
  • Starting education can help you to self-manage your diabetes and bring down your blood glucose reading.

Why should I do the education programme when I can find everything I need to know on the internet? 

  • The internet has really helped us all to find information and share information. We can quickly find things out and feel that we know about things we have searched.
  • However, it is really hard to know if the information you find on the internet can be trusted. This is because anyone can put information online and make it seem like it is reliable. It can be easy to find false information (or misinformation) online.
  • With diabetes, it is important to make sure your information can be trusted and is up-to-date. This is because your health is affected by the information you get around how to self-manage your diabetes.
  • The best way to find up-to-date information that you can trust is to go on a diabetes education programme.
  • Contact the Diabetes Education Service to find an education programme for you.

If I have a supportive family and GP practice, do I need to do the education programme? 

  • Having support is really helpful when self-managing your diabetes. If people in your family understand the changes you are making, then they can help you with these. It is also helpful when they understand the symptoms you may be getting from your diabetes.
  • Your GP should also be supporting you with your diabetes. This will include a meeting with you each year to check your blood levels. This is really helpful as you can see how your diabetes is and think about the changes that are helping.
  • In order to be able to self-manage your diabetes you need to understand about your diabetes. This means learning about the things you can try that can help your health. It is also learning about medications that might be needed now or in the future.
  • To self-manage your diabetes you need to  know the health complications to look out for. These are all really important. They help you to know what to do and how to be in charge of your help.
  • Diabetes education helps you to make your own health choices and be in charge of your health and wellbeing. 

I have other health conditions, should I be working on them first before my diabetes education? 

  • The different diabetes education programmes all focus on supporting your overall health.
  • By going to the education, you can begin to make changes that help your health. This includes helping other health conditions.
  • Your diabetes improving may also help your other health condition or help you to feel able to support it.

I work long hours and have little free time. Why should I spend that free time learning about diabetes? 

  • Working long hours and having a busy home can make having any moments free really difficult.
  • Going on an education programme in those spare moments might not feel like how you’d like to spend that time.
  • However, by understanding more about your diabetes, you can make changes to support your health. These changes can make your chances of having a complication, from diabetes, less likely.
  • The sooner you learn about ways to support your diabetes, the better.
  • The learning does take several hours in total. However, this makes sure you have gone over everything you need to know how to help your health.