Some ten years ago, a Diabetes Care and Education group was set up at Warwick Medical School (WMS) with the aim of bridging the gap between the research carried out at the University and patient support and treatment.
Since 2001 WMS, with input from the Warwick Diabetes Research and Education User Group (WDREUG), to give it its full title, has trained over 5,000 GPs, nurses and dietitians with the results that diabetes care is improving for many of the thousands of people living with diabetes across the UK.
Geoff Aitchison, the current Group Lay Secretary and a Diabetic himself, explained: “A method was needed to connect the research process with people living with diabetes, which allowed views, opinions and suggestions to be fed back to the experts to help shape and enhance their medical research.
“This type of collaborative working has, over the years, brought real benefits and advancement to Diabetes research conducted at Warwick Medical School and has led to improved patient care and education of both the patient and health professionals.”
The group provides advice upon all types of issues that the research or education team could raise. This could be about how a research project is designed, how best to recruit patients or how to write questions for a survey.
One of its first major tasks was to become involved in developing a patient education programme called the Diabetes Manual which is a comprehensive reference document given to diabetics as they begin to adjust to treatment or lifestyle changes.
To see how researchers at Warwick Medical School are working with members of the User Group to guide research activity, please view the film http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/med/sitetools/files/diabetes2fs.wmv or go to: http://go.warwick.ac.uk/diabetesusergroup
WDREUG celebrates its 10th anniversary on 4 July 2011.
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