Chairman's monthly update

Many people complain about stress whilst others are convinced that they need some to help them live fuller lives.


What is far from clear is the relationship between stress and diabetes, both as a trigger to being diagnosed as diabetic, or the influence it has on treatment. These two significant areas will be explored by Dr Russell Jacob, Clinical Psychologist from Surrey Downs Diabetic Service when he speaks at the next meeting of the Kingston branch of Diabetes UK on Thursday 24th March. The meeting is free to attend and will start at 6.45 pm in the Education Centre, Surgical Centre Building of Kingston Hospital.


These are issues that affect people of all ages and it is helpful for everyone to know something of the warning signs, especially if they are the sons or daughters of those who are already diagnosed as having diabetic conditions, so please encourage as many friends and family to attend as you can.


Our February meeting looked very closely at foot care and the ways and means we should be taking to avoid the unpleasant prospect of possible amputation. Consultant surgeon Keith Jones gave the type of thorough, relevant and understandable presentation that you would never find in a reference book or the internet and more than justified the time of all those who came. This is the point of our group. To gain information and advice that is both practical and would be difficult to access from elsewhere. We do have Mr Jones’ slides available to forward to any members, but I should advise that some of them are quite gruesome. Here are some key points to note from what was said:


  1. Feet should be examined by yourself with another person if possible at least once a week.
  2. Formal podiatry checks are best arranged every three month but currently in Kingston there is great variation in the service being offered by the NHS. Surbiton seems to offer the best service, which is annually, but in other areas the only opportunity may be when a person is first diagnosed as being diabetic.
  3. If any cuts or sores occur on feet they must be tackled as soon as possible. This is much more serious than for a non-diabetic person.
  4. Be especially careful with new shoes and choose those where there is comfortable room for the feet, but not where a slightly larger size could cause rubbing.
  5. Basic moisturising cream can be used to help feet stay subtle and avoid any cracking of the skin. There are more specialist creams available via a doctor’s prescription, if this is necessary.


Very much looking forward to seeing everyone in our usual location on Thursday 24th March and please spread the word of both the existence of the group and its usefulness to those with diabetic conditions, as well as others who may have concerns.



Richard Allen

Chairman, Kingston branch of Diabetes UK