North Leeds Medical Practice Patient Participation Group – Diabetes Day on Saturday 18 March

What a wonderful day! Six members of our Patient Participation Group (PPG) offered to help when we held our second Diabetes Day at Milan Street surgery. The first one we held didn’t bring forth many patients, as we had to rely on one large poster, advertising in local shops and leaflets in the surgery to inform people of the event. It did, however, identify three patients who were at risk of diabetes, so it was well worth while doing.

The second one was quite different, but we have to thank the surgery for allowing text messages to be sent out to particular groups of patients, informing them of the opportunity to have their blood glucose checked.  This made a tremendous difference to the success of the day. Of course we still had our large poster, leaflets and one of our members requesting help from the shops in Harehills for which we were very grateful. During the day 62 patients came to the event and they were queuing at the door before we had chance to set up our tables.

We went into action and realised we had to make tickets, to make sure patients were seen in the right order, otherwise chaos would have ensued. It didn’t take very long to get organised and once in action we were well away. The pharmacist from Shaan’s chemist had to request more needles for the glucose monitoring tests, as we didn’t anticipate the large number of people attending.

Whilst they were waiting for their blood glucose to be monitored, they had the opportunity to have their blood pressure taken by using the automated machine in the surgery.  Diabetic leaflets and recipes were displayed in various languages, so that patients could take them home with them.

One of the PPG members did an excellent job in writing down each individual patient’s name, date of birth, blood test result and when they had last eaten. The patient received a copy of this information and another copy was given to the GP diabetic specialist, to determine whether they needed to be brought back to the surgery for further tests.

A number of high results were identified which made the day very worthwhile.

It became a very social occasion with patients talking to each other, whilst waiting for their tests to be done. One patient was talking about her culinary skills, and said it would have been nice if she could have made soup for everyone waiting.

It also gave us the opportunity to talk about our PPG and from this we gained two more members for our PPG, and another volunteer for ‘Caring Hands’ (practices voluntary organisation of patients who help other patients, this became operational in September 2016).

All in all it was a great day and we all came away feeling we were all closer to each other as a PPG, and that the patients who were at risk of diabetes had been identified.

We hope to hold another Diabetes Day at Harrogate Road surgery in the near future.

We were very grateful for the pharmacist at Shaan’s chemist and all the PPG members who gave their time, it was much appreciated.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any queries about the article.

Beverley Kite

Chair of North Leeds Medical Practice Patient Participation Group