New online research from Diabetes UK has revealed that one in three people (34%) would seek advice online first over talking to a GP about a health concern.

The poll of more than 2,000 UK adults, carried out by YouGov on behalf of Diabetes UK, also showed that less than a quarter (23%) of respondents said they would feel comfortable speaking to an employer about health concerns. While three quarters of people (75%) said they would feel comfortable talking about a friend or loved one’s health condition, only 65% said they’d feel comfortable talking to friends or loved ones about their own health.

In light of these findings, Diabetes UK has produced a list of top tips for health professionals to encourage people with diabetes to have conversations they may have been avoiding having with their healthcare professional team:

·         Be frank and use clear, simple language. It’ll help both you and your patient feel more relaxed and comfortable.

·         Sometimes there’s a lot to talk about in an appointment, and you might need more time. You could highlight other ways to get in touch, such as email. 

·         Your patient is more than just a number. By understanding their day-to-day lives you can help them manage their diabetes better. A simple question about their favourite hobby or weekend plans can often build rapport and make a huge difference.

Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK, commented: “Talking about diabetes can be hard. But for someone living with the condition, or caring for someone who does, it can mean getting the right treatment, ensuring your rights are protected at work, or making sure your child gets the best care at school. That’s why being able to talk about diabetes, and having people to talk to about the condition, is so important."

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