This year, National Diabetes Week runs from 12 – 18 July, with the focus on supporting the emotional and mental health of people living with diabetes. The daily burden of living with diabetes can be significant. It is estimated that people with diabetes face up to 180 diabetes-related decisions every day, that is more than 65,000 extra decisions a year.

Western Sydney Primary Health Network, in partnership with Western Sydney Local Health District, consumers and health professionals, has established the Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) Alliance, to help reduce the burden of diabetes in the region. Detailed information about our partnership is available online.

Western Sydney is regarded as a diabetes hotspot, with more than half the population overweight and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The need for a coordinated and whole-of-system approach to its prevention and management is now more critical than ever. Working together, we can create a range of strategies to take the heat out of our diabetes ‘hotspot’ in Western Sydney. Success will require diabetes prevention and management to become everybody’s business, and below are some of the initiatives of our WSD partnership:

  • Routine screening – This kind of screening promotes early detection of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the community, allowing better management of these conditions.
  • Joint Specialist Case Conferencing – A service that aims to improve the management of diabetes in general practise.
  • GP Walking Groups – In partnership with Heart Foundation, we introduced patient-lead GP walking groups, to improve overall patient health and help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes.
  • 60-second Foot Check – WSD has developed the 60-second diabetic foot screening tool to educate patients, nurses and clinicians on the importance of conducting annual foot checks at least annually.

On Tuesday 28 July, WSD is conducting a live zoom webinar to discuss Diabetes and Mental Health. Health care professionals are invited to to register for the webinar in advance.

In addition, Diabetes Australia is offering those living with the condition, free 45-minute telephone or video appointments with a psychologist. Patients can book an appointment by calling 1800 533 774 no referral is required. More information and resources are available on the Diabetes NSW website.

We also have a range of free resources on diabetes management and prevention available online. Health professionals can access Western Sydney HealthPathways using the following login details below:

Username: health
Password: w3stern