First graduates from Croydon's Expert Patient Programme
The CCG saw the first participants in the Expert Patient Programme graduate on Thursday 21 February 2019. The programme aims to help participants to improve their health and wellbeing and better manage their condition through learning self-management skills and sharing similar experiences with others.
Participants learned about dealing with difficult emotions, healthy eating and pain and fatigue management on the six week course. They were also encouraged to look at serving sizes on food labels and to keep food diaries. They then discussed what they had learned and discovered with the group.
John (pictured below, right), one of the graduates, gave the following feedback:
"My primary aim of attending and participating in the [course] is to prolong my life and improving its quality by tackling two chronic health problems, high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes, so I can spend time with my grandchildren and see them grow into young adults.
"I will employ the knowledge and skills that I have learnt to manage more efficiently my blood pressure and diabetes.
"I currently employ diet and exercise to reduce my weight and consequently I no longer have to take medication for my diabetes and my blood pressure is now in the target range.
"The knowledge and skills learnt from the course will aid me in changing and sustaining my healthier life style. Currently I benefit from the "Croydon Walking for Health Scheme"; as a pensioner I have the time to walk daily during the week for a minimum period of one hour. The camaderie of the various walking groups helps to motivate and sustain my exercise. Also, I enjoy similar support with managing my diabetes with the Diabetes UK Croydon Group.
"I would strongly encourage all those suffering from a chronic health problem to take advantage of these free health promoting groups and to participate in future [...] courses."
The Expert Patient Programme is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, initially devised by Stanford University, California. The course referenced in this article was sponsored by NHS Croydon Commissioning Group and Croydon Council.
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