Long-term Conditions and Self-management
A long term condition is an illness which cannot currently be cured, but can be controlled and managed by medication, other therapies, making healthier lifestyle choices and managing the condition yourself. High blood pressure is the most common long-term condition in Islington. This is followed by diabetes and chronic depression.
In Islington, a large number of adults aged between 18 and 74 years have a diagnosed long term condition and many people have more than one.
In addition to Islington residents who already know they have a long-term condition, there are many who are living with conditions that have not yet been diagnosed.
Improving earlier diagnosis, management and control of long- term conditions is important to prevent the disease progressing and the possible development of other conditions.
The best ways to prevent getting a long-term condition and to help manage any existing conditions is to make healthy lifestyle choices. This can include stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Self-management provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to manage you condition more confidently and help you make daily decisions which can improve your health and well-being.
There are a number of self-management programmes available in Islington that help people to manage their condition. Some courses are for specific long-term conditions but others are generic. Your GP, practice nurse or other healthcare professional can refer you onto a self-management course:
- DESMOND, a self-management programme for people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it is particularly useful for people newly diagnosed
- The Expert Patients Programme is a free six-week self-management course for people with a long-term health condition who live in Islington or who are registered with an Islington GP
- The Diabetes Self-Management Programme is a free seven-week self-management course for people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than 3 months ago and who live in Islington or who are registered with an Islington GP
- Exercise on Referral, a 12 week course to improve your health, wellbeing and help you manage a long-term condition through increasing your physical activity
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation, an 8 week exercise and education programme for patients with COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Long-term Exercise Programme, weekly exercise sessions for people who have completed the pulmonary rehabilitation programme.
NHS diabetic eye-screening
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, part of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy progresses with time but may not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced and close to affecting a person's sight.
Screening is an effective way of detecting diabetic retinopathy as early as possible.
All people aged 12 and over with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) are offered annual screening appointments.
For more information on diabetic eye screening visit Diabetic eye screening http://diabeticeye.screening.nhs.uk/screening