Patients will have the chance to shape diabetes services across Lincolnshire at a meeting in Sleaford this month. Representatives from the NHS in Lincolnshire will be at the New Life Centre in the town on April 21 to speak with patients to better understand how to meet their needs. In Lincolnshire, 49,000 people are living with Diabetes, which is roughly 8 per cent of the population. In 12 months from March 2016, nearly 1,000 people in the county were diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a two per cent rise on the previous year. Currently, patients with diabetes have access to a number of support programmes such as Diabetes UK’s ‘Living with Diabetes days’. However, under future visions for the health system, experts want to hear from patients about what additional support could be put in place to improve their experience. Dr David Sheehan, lead GP for Diabetes in Lincolnshire, said the event was a great opportunity for the health system to discover what patients want to be put in place. He said: “This is a great opportunity for people living with Diabetes, their carers and families to help influence future Diabetes care in the county. “In the five years from March 2012 to 2017, nearly 9,000 people in Lincolnshire were diagnosed with Diabetes, so it is becoming an issue for many more people. “There is no better way to understand what services patients need to meet their needs than by speaking to them, which is what makes events like this even more important. “Ultimately, the goal is to achieve better Diabetes management. “I would hope as many people as possible can come along and speak to us on the day.” The event will involve discussions around the support patients currently receive and how it works, as well as suggestions for better ways forward. Attendees will also be able to tell professionals what else they would like to have available to them to help manage their Diabetes, while specialists will be on hand to explain the services already available. There will be talks, group discussions and opportunities to ask questions (including anonymously). Diane Smith, Diabetes UK East Midlands Improving Care Manager, said: “I would encourage anyone living with diabetes to attend this event. It’s vital that people living with the condition, or caring for someone, have their say and help shape the care they receive. “We know that receiving the right care, supported by education and support, people with diabetes can live well and better manage their condition. Sadly, if not managed well this chronic condition can lead to serious and life-threatening complications. “We are delighted to be working with the NHS in Lincolnshire where people are being put at the heart of future health plans.” The event takes place between 1pm and 4.00pm on Saturday, April 21 at New Life Centre, Mareham Lane, Sleaford. You can book your place at the event by visiting letstalkdiabetes210418.eventbrite.co.uk, by calling 01922 614500 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.