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
- 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.
What you need to know
New National Restrictions from 5 November
COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Closing certain businesses and venues.
Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available can be found on the UK Government website.
Specific guidance for those who are vulnerable:
Due to the latest rise in infections, everybody - including those that are clinically extremely vulnerable - is required to follow the new National restrictions from 5th of November. These include:
- people to stay at home, except for specific purposes
- prevent people from gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes
- close certain businesses and venues
The UK Government are advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments.
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 new national restrictions and what that means for people that are classed as clinically vulnerable.
Masks – where to buy them, how to make your own masks
- Government has made face coverings (or masks) mandatory on public transport and in shops and enclosed places with few exceptions. It is important to follow the government’s advice.
- Learn more about what location you need to wear a mask.
- The evidence suggests that face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if someone is suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms. To protect yourself, you should also continue to follow social distancing measures and isolation guidance and wash your hands regularly.
As part of the new restrictions, from the 5th of November, 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 minimise time spent outside your home. When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).
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 new national restrictions.
Travel - Who is allowed to travel on public transport?
You should wear a mask if you have to use public transport to travel and stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.
If you are travelling abroad please follow the latest government guidance
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.