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Hartlepool’s Diabetes Challenge

Press Release   •   Oct 21, 2016 14:58 BST

Hayley Hakansson with Specialist Diabetes Nurse Lisa Doughty

Statistics show that, despite an increase in diabetes related prescriptions between 2011 and 2015, Hartlepool has had the lowest prescribing rate for type 2 diabetes in the North East. This research by analytic database provider Exasol has shown that type 2 diabetes prescriptions across the UK have risen by one third in five years from 2011 to 2015. The research shows the country will reach five million type 2 diabetes diagnoses in 2020, five years sooner than previously thought. There are large variations in prescribing across England and Hartlepool, like many British cities, faces a serious health challenge. The charity Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) aims to improve diabetes self-management skills and is organising a special Diabetes Wellness Day in the city.

DRWF’s Diabetes Wellness Day at the Hartlepool Maritime Experience on Saturday 12 November is supported by the specialist diabetes teams from Hartlepool and North Tees NHS Foundation Trust who provide talks and presentations about living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Event Coordinator Lee Calladine said: “DRWF is aware of the benefits of diabetes education. The day provides the tools, knowledge and practical skills needed to improve life with diabetes and the keys to healthier living, it is designed to ensure all participants have the opportunity to raise their questions, share their experiences and enjoy the support of a friendly, like-minded diabetes community in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.”

A regular attender is local woman Hayley Hakansson, 48, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven years ago. Hayley has attended five of DRWF’s events in Hartlepool and now helps with the organisation as a DRWF volunteer as well as helping at the local Hartlepool Diabetes Group (HDG).

She explained: “I attended the Diabetes Wellness Day North East in 2011 and learned lots about diabetes and met lots of new people and healthcare professionals. I enjoy meeting other people at the event as it allows us the share experiences and helps us to support each other.”

Hayley is also a member of the local support group Hartlepool Diabetes Group (HDG) formed around 25 years ago by Margaret Ellis and Jean Hill. The group has around 300 members and meets every first and third Friday of the month at Hartlepool Central Library. The Chairperson and leader of the group is Denice O'Rourke with the help of her daughters, Danielle and Cody. Hayley books regular speakers, visitors and health care professionals to keep members up-to-date with information not just about diabetes but other life events.

“DRWF has been really great supporting the HDG, we use their free diabetes patient information leaflets and many of us subscribe to their monthly newsletter as well as attending the Diabetes Wellness Day once a year. The day is great for regulars like me or for anyone recently diagnosed, it gives you the time to learn and ask questions in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.”

Lisa Doughty, the lead diabetes nurse specialist at The University Hospital of Hartlepool and North Tees NHS Foundation Trust supports both the DRWF Diabetes Wellness Day North East the local HDG meetings and is Hayley’s diabetes specialist nurse supporting her with her diabetes pump which she started using recently.

“The DRWF Diabetes Wellness Day North East is a unique event and one we all look forward to every year. It brings everyone together to refocus and share information and experiences. The HDG continues this work locally and is an amazing resource for people in Hartlepool.”

The Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF) is returning to the Hartlepool Maritime Experience on Saturday 12th November from 9.30 to 3pm for their very popular Diabetes Wellness Day, bringing together a wealth of information under one roof for people living with diabetes.

For more information about the Diabetes Wellness Day North please contact Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation event coordinator Lee Calladine on 02392 636133 or email

The Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF) is a registered charity, established in 1998 to raise public awareness to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, associated complications, treatment, avoidance and relief and to provide support to people living with diabetes. Whilst funding diabetes research we aim to ensure that people are ‘staying well until a cure is found...’

In the past 15 years the UK has seen the number of people diagnosed with diabetes almost double, and this continues to rise rapidly. More than one in 20 of the population now lives with diabetes and it is estimated that there will be 5 million people affected by 2020.

While DRWF is an independent, autonomous charity, working for the benefit of people within the United Kingdom, internationally, Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation exists also as a non-profit organisation in the United States of America, in France under the name "Association pour la recherche sur le diabète", and also Sweden (DWNS). We share the same goals and don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, enabling us to take advantage of our international dimension for the benefit of the charity and our beneficiaries.

Charity registration no – 1070607

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