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AN in­no­va­tive mix of on­line learn­ing and prac­ti­cal work­shops is be­ing used to train health­care work­ers in di­ag­nos­ing and treat­ing di­a­betes.

Health work­ers are of­ten pres­sured by time and work and can find it dif­fi­cult to get to tra­di­tional train­ing schemes.

But now in Scot­land NHS High­land has worked out the scheme with Skills for Health to iden­tify the com­pe­tences health care work­ers need to en­sure they can of­fer con­sis­tent di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment to a ge­o­graph­i­cally di­verse and fluc­tu­at­ing num­ber of pa­tients.

Through­out the UK, the rate of di­a­betes is ex­pected to in­crease over the next 1015 years and health work­ers need to be trained to meet the need.

The most preva­lent is Type 2, which de­vel­ops when the body can still make some in­sulin but not enough, or when the in­sulin that is pro­duced does not work prop­erly. In most cases, but not all, the cause is obe­sity and usu­ally af­fects peo­ple over the age of 40 but is be­com­ing more com­mon in younger peo­ple as well.

Se­vere com­pli­ca­tions can set in if peo­ple are not di­ag­nosed early or fail to get the right care.

NHS High­land cares for al­most 300,000 res­i­dents as well as tourists, who at cer­tain times of the year can dou­ble or even triple the pop­u­la­tion. This new and in­no­va­tive train­ing pro­gramme ex­tends the role of health­care work­ers to of­fer pa­tients con­sis­tent di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment close to home.

To cre­ate the pro­gramme, NHS High­land and the Univer­sity of High­lands and Is­lands Mil­len­nium In­sti­tute (UHI) pulled to­gether teams of prac­ti­tion­ers and ed­u­ca­tion­al­ists plus nurse spe­cial­ists, di­eti­cians and po­di­a­trists.

Pulling to­gether: co-oper­a­tive approach to health in High­lands

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