Education in the UK
Within the past few years, there has been an explosion of activity and interest in intensive education programmes for people with type1 diabetes. While the National DAFNE programme has received much publicity, many diabetes centres have developed their own programmes to meet local needs.
One of the first was the Bournemouth group, who based their programme on the same German programme used for DAFNE, but adapted it to be delivered over a longer period of time (ie one day a week for four consecutive weeks.) The aim was to enable participants to put into practice what they learned after each session, and to gain experience of doing so under real-life conditions (eg including at work and at weekends). Other centres have also set up their own courses, based on the Bournemouth course (eg TIFA, Torquay), on programmes in the USA (Insight, Oxford) or on an empowerment model (Jigsaw, Portsmouth). While not subject to a randomised trial, audit of outcomes suggest these courses are at least as effective as DAFNE in improving HbA1c.
While the DAFNE consortium provided a training and quality control framework for centres delivering its course, there was no mechanism to provide these functions for those centres wishing to set up their own courses. Given their paramount importance, it was felt essential for these programmes to be subject to the same quality assurance processes, and this was one of the main driving forces behind the development of the Type 1 education network.
The Type 1 Education Network was set up in 2003 with the following objectives:
- To support centres in delivering high quality self-management education for Type 1 diabetes
- To support centres in accessing appropriate staff training
- To enable centres to share best practice and learn from each other
- To develop common evaluation criteria to facilitate quality assurance