If you live in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Ealing, Hounslow, Brent, Hillingdon or Harrow and have diabetes or you are at risk of type 2 register your interest in the Know Diabetes service today.
We’re here to help.
- To avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
- Boost your health and wellbeing: weight loss; better sleep; coming off medication; mental wellbeing
- Managing your diabetes: Type 1; Type 2
- Sick day rules
- Coronavirus and pregnancy
- Coronavirus and children living with type 1 diabetes
- Practical advice to help you right now
- Latest Government guidance: Vulnerable groups; masks; restrictions; social bubbles; travel
- Vaccination programme in North West London
- NHS Advice Helpline & FAQs
- Advice for Healthcare professionals
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently – wash for at least 20 seconds.
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser alcohol-based gels if soap and water is not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands
- Maintain social distancing according to government guidelines on what you can and can’t do
- Read more about staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK.
- cover face- wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
2. Boost your health and wellbeing
If you have type 2 diabetes or if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes (sometimes called pre-diabetes and also known as non-diabetic hyperglycaemia); then there are actions you can take right now to start reducing your risk.
- Weight loss – Read more about a healthy approach to weight loss including low carbohydrate meals.
- Weight Loss Programmes – There are a number of programmes available in North West London to support to lose weight if you are looking to get healthier and improve your blood readings.
- Remission of type 2 diabetes - Read more about how you can put your type 2 diabetes into remission. For some inspiration have a look at some of our remission videos below:
- REWIND Programme – To optimize your diabetes control please read about our REWIND programme offered to people living in North West London.
- Healthy Eating during COVID-19 – Have a look at our page to get some useful tips for healthy eating.
- Sleep better – Read about how to get a good night’s sleep.
- Move More – Millions are working out from home or using active transport to get around. Visit our moving more pages to get inspired and boost your immune system.
- Stop Smoking - If you haven't stopped smoking, now is a good time to do it. Most stop smoking support teams are still providing a remote service.
It is natural to feel anxious during these times. Everyone gets anxious at times, but managing diabetes may increase anxiety. Find out about the ways to deal with anxiety that work, and often quickly.
Videos to help you - Diabetes 10 Point Training
The information in the videos below was created by our Partners in Diabetes (people living with diabetes), bringing their lived experience of what matters to you.
Remember you are not alone and there’s so much we can do to make things easier.
Domestic abuse: get help during the coronavirus outbreak
Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse. Call Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Visit the helpline website to access further information, a contact form and the live chat service. If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. The UK Government also has some information on how to get help if you are experiencing domestic abuse through the current COVID crisis.
If English is not your first language you may find our translated guidance on how to get help useful. Women’s Aid also have guidance documents on domestic abuse and coronavirus available in a number of languages for victims, family and friends, and community members of those affected.
3. Managing your diabetes
- Ensure you have enough glucose and ketone testing equipment.
- Be aware of your sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team.
- Make sure you have a good stock of insulin pens, needles and any other medications you are prescribed.
- Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often.
- If you are an insulin pump user you should have insulin pens and pen needles as a backup and a good supply of insulin pump consumables.
- Make sure your diabetes technical device (insulin pump /continuous glucose monitor/Freestyle Libre device is in good working order and if you have any concerns phone the company who supplies your device directly to troubleshoot and arrange a replacement if necessary.
- Ensure you have enough glucose testing equipment and ketone testing strips if appropriate (if you have had diabetes for a long time, or have had ketones in the past).
- Ketones are uncommon in type 2 but remain a risk if glucose is high for a significant time &/or during illness. If you take a tablet called SGLT2 and you become unwell you may need to check your glucose and ketones (canagliflozin, dapagliflozin or any tablet ending with “gliflozin”)
- Make sure you have a good stock of your medications, orals tablets &/or injectable therapies:
- Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often
4. Sick day rules
- Being pregnant and having diabetes does not mean you are at greater risk of getting the virus.
- However, if you do get the virus, you could be at greater risk of developing complications so it's important you stay at home as much as possible.
- Research has shown the importance of social distancing from 28 weeks of pregnancy.
- The RCOG has more information about pregnancy and coronavirus.
6. Coronavirus and children living with type 1 diabetes
If you have a child with type 1 diabetes, please see the guidelines for children living with type 1 diabetes which can be found on the JDRFUK website.
7. Practical advice to help you right now
- If you are feeling anxious or experiencing diabetes distress please visit our mental health hub pages. We also like this article on how to protect your mental health by the BBC.
- BBC good food has 59 recipes on eating well on a budget. Olio app is an award-winning app their moto is share more, waste less.
- The Hypo Program will help show you how to reduce your hypo risk, track your hypos, and better understand the causes of hypos, you can find more information here.
- If you or someone you know has diabetes and has to go to a hospital, take our Diabetes 10 point training for people with diabetes in hospital leaflet with you, you can download it here.
- Staying well and active is good for our immune system. If you are in isolation or can't attend your regular planned activity classes, we have a page with some tips on staying active at home.
- Worried about money? The Money Saving Expert website has some sound advice and a regular update page from mortgage breaks and business advice to benefit rights.
- Getting some sleep can also be beneficial to the immune system, this practical sleep guide might be of help. We also have our sleep better hub pages here.
8. Latest Government guidance
England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law, however, some of the rules on what you can and cannot do have changed.
You can only leave your home for essential reasons which include:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- Go to work if you cannot work from home
- Exercise, or for outdoor recreation in a public outdoor space - this can be on your own, with your household or support bubble or with one other person (in which case you should stay 2m apart).
- To meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- Attend school or further education
- Attend university or other higher education - for those eligible
- Attend, or take a child to, childcare - for those eligible
- Care home residents can have one nominated visitor, with testing and social distance precautions
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
Coming out of Lockdown
The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England as cases are falling across the country. This will be done in 4 stages but is dependent on 4 conditions which must be met at each stage before proceeding to the next one. Each stage will be a minimum of five weeks apart:
- The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
- Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying or needing hospital treatment
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
- New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions
What's already changed?
- Schools and colleges have reopened, and university students can return for practical courses
- Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include "a coffee on a bench"
- Care home residents can have one nominated visitor, with testing and social distance precautions
Stage one (from 29 March):
- People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the "rule of six", including in private gardens
- The stay at home rule will end, but the government will urge people to stay local as much as possible
- Outdoor sports facilities will reopen, including golf courses and tennis and basketball courts, and formally organised outdoor sports can restart
Stage two (no earlier than 12 April):
- All shops allowed to open, along with close-contact services, including hairdressers and beauty salons (including in people's homes)
- Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in the UK in self-contained accommodation
Stage three (no earlier than 17 May):
- People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
- Six people or two households can meet indoors
- Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
- Up to 30 people can attend weddings or other life events, like christenings
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
- Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children's play areas can open
- Performances and large events can restart, but with limits on audience numbers
- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
- International leisure travel may resume
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can restart
Stage four (no earlier than 21 June):
- All legal limits on social contact will be removed
- No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events
- Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen
For further information on the route out of lockdown, please see the UK Government website.
Specific guidance for those who are vulnerable:
Shielding for those that are extremely clinically vulnerable has also resumed. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are advised to only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. The UK Government recommends that you do not attend work.
Try to keep all contact with others to a minimum and avoid busy areas. Whenever you go out, continue to maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. You should also try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
The UK Government website has further information on the national lockdown and what that means for people that are classed as clinically vulnerable.
As part of the national lockdown you must not meet people socially. However, you can exercise or meet in a public, outdoor space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person. You should continue to follow social distancing guidance with people outside of your household or support bubble. This is critical to keeping you, your family and friends as safe as possible.
You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight in each other’s households, and visit outdoor public places together.
Please check the UK Government website for further information on the national lockdown.
You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes).
If you need to travel you should stay local. This means you should avoid travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live. You should reduce the number of journeys you make overall.
If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel. Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.
If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.
For further information please see the UK Government website.
If you're recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind. Get tips for improving your wellbeing to support your recovery. A dedicated website has been created to help people recovery from Covid19, you can access this website here.
Covid19 Vaccination Programme in North West London
COVID-19 vaccination guidance from local GPs, including messages in English, Gujarati, Arabic, Farsi, Punjabi, Sinhalese, Bengali, Polish, Slokav, Urdu and Pashto, as well as in British Sign Language (BSL) The NHS will get in touch when it's your turn to be vaccinated.
NHS Diabetes Advice is provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement in response to disruption to normal services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require immediate advice from a team of clinical advisors.
Advice for Healthcare Professionals
Guidance for Health professionals – Clinical guide for the management of people with diabetes during the coronavirus pandemic
Guidance for Primary Care, Secondary Care, Community Health, Social Care and Ambulance services
People with diabetes are at elevated risk of acquiring the more severe disease
Keep up to date with advice from Diabetes UK which you can find here.
All diabetes consultations to be done virtually by HCPs to minimise the risk of exposure unless otherwise indicated
If people haven't stopped smoking, advise that now is a good time to do so
Guidance for healthcare professionals on coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in pregnancy, published by the RCOG.
For further Healthcare Professional COVID-19 guidance, please visit our Healthcare Professionals section here.