When people with diabetes need a voice, we are that voice.
At Diabetes SA, support takes on many forms.
When South Australians with diabetes need a voice, we are that voice – providing advocacy at a local, national, government and community level.
We support individuals with advocacy issues such as workplace discrimination, access to community-based services and affordable diabetes medicines.
Advocacy is an important part of the roles of all staff working at Diabetes SA, and is undertaken in the course of performing our many activities, in a number of ways.
The following examples demonstrate the ways in which we advocate for people living with diabetes and their families and carers.
- We administer the NDSS in South Australia.
We have an Agreement with SA Health that ensures all people with diabetes registered on the NDSS have access to free syringes and pen needles.
The state government covers a proportion of the cost of these products to ensure the person with diabetes does not incur any cost at all when managing their diabetes with insulin or certain other injectable medications.
Diabetes SA manage the regular financial reporting required, cost free, to ensure people with diabetes have easy access to free syringes and pen needles.
We play a role in the South Australian Chronic Conditions Collaborative where like-minded organisations work collaboratively to improve outcomes for people living with multiple chronic conditions.
- Access to health professionals face to face, via phone, social media and email to provide current diabetes information.
This may be about a person’s rights in the workplace, access to insurance, the right to drive, access to quality health care, or any number of issues.
- Awareness campaigns that aim to reduce stigma and inform people about what diabetes is. One example is our ‘know your type’ campaign which provided simple facts about diabetes and aimed to debunk some of the myths.
- Care that is person centered, involving the person with diabetes in decisions about their health and respecting a person’s healthcare rights.
We practice this philosophy and put the person with diabetes at the centre of their care.
We also promote and teach this approach to other healthcare professionals we come into contact with.
- We provide a schools’ program which educates school staff about diabetes and the care that is required for a child or adolescent living with diabetes.
We advocate for the right of all children and adolescents to a safe and supported environment that does not discriminate or exclude.
We work with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to deliver the program, and the Department of Education and Childhood Development to promote policies and procedures that have been developed.
- We coordinate and chair the Mental Health Practitioners Network (MHPN): Diabetes to establish a better understanding of the complexities of diabetes among mental health practitioners, as well as provide an opportunity for health practitioners to connect and establish effective referral pathways for people living with diabetes.
- We are working with the Aged Care sector to educate aged care workers and health professionals about evidence-based best practice for the older person living with diabetes.
- We run a GP program where we visit GP’s and GP practice staff to provide education about the NDSS. We encourage GP’s to register their patients to ensure all people diagnosed with diabetes and eligible for the Scheme have access to education programs, free information and subsidised products to manage their condition.
- We actively support health professionals to implement best practice in their workplaces. A current example is where we have assisted with the guidelines for care in the prison system to ensure safe and effective care for the person with diabetes.
- We have developed resources for people in or about to enter the workforce, including employers, to provide guidance about the rights and responsibilities of the worker and the responsibilities and rights of the employer.
- We have developed a resource for younger people transitioning to adulthood that provides vital information about what to expect, and where to seek further help. It tackles many questions a younger person may find difficult to ask.
We believe in supporting and advocating for the younger person as they enter the adult health care system which is often difficult to navigate.
- We provide people with the opportunity to give feedback in order to be responsive to their needs, whether this is an education program or a publication. We want to ensure we represent people with diabetes and give them a voice.