Wenda’s experience with the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme
Wenda is a nurse at Old Station Road Surgery in Derbyshire, she has been happy to share some of the experiences she has had with Xyla Health & Wellbeing and feedback she has received from her patients on the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme.
Please tell us a little bit about your background and experience of working with people who have diabetes
I have been a practice nurse for 18 years and for the last 7 years, the lead in diabetes within the primary care setting. I am also the lead for diabetes in my current practice. In the practice, we do reviews during the patient’s birthday month for anyone who is pre-diabetic, has type 1 or type 2 diabetes and anyone in remission. They are offered an invite to come in on that month and have a full review with one of the health care assistants (HCA). I then work with the HCA and the GP to identify anyone who may benefit from the Low-Calorie Diet (LCD) and will discuss this in more detail with the patient.
How do you bring awareness of the new NHS Low Calorie Diet Pilot to your patients?
The HCA’s in our practice are fully aware of the LCD programme and eligibility criteria so they can identify people to pass on to me. We also look at anyone who has recently been diagnosed and is overweight, and these patients are identified and highlighted to me to screen for an LCD referral.
I also conduct searches of patients who meet the eligibility criteria, then narrow it down to those with a high BMI who may benefit most from the programme. I send a text as a starting point with the details of the programme and if they want to be referred, they can text back. I then follow up a week later with a phone call and keep track of who I have spoken with. Referrals can be made as you go along and find people suitable through appointments and colleagues. Now that I am fully confident with the programme, I just make the texts and calls as I go.
Why did you decide to refer patients onto the programme?
We had a lot of patients asking about it after seeing press on the programme. My main aim was to help those people who are keen to go into remission. I explain the amazing support Xlya can offer for patients on the programme, then I reassure them I am also here to support them if needed.
How have your patients succeeded on the programme so far? What have they reported as the biggest lifestyle changes for them?
I have kept in touch with my patients. I keep a spreadsheet on who I have referred and who has declined. After getting the letter from Xyla with a start date and current weight for each patient, I then go back to them every 2 months roughly to see how they are getting on. The feedback has been amazing from my patients, lots of weight loss and reduction in HbA1c readings have been mentioned. All the feedback I receive is extremely positive.
What advice would you give to other staff wanting to refer patients?
Don’t be overwhelmed, referring patients when you get used to it is easy. Bring awareness to more staff and DRs in your practice to make it easier to identify patients and work together to take the time to refer them.
Another bit of advice is to be positive about the programme and explain what they could achieve and how fortunate we are to have this opportunity in our area. It’s a great opportunity for them and this helps to get them feeling motivated.
What would you say has been the most beneficial part of the programme for you and your patients?
Communication has been key – really judging if they are motivated. Make sure this is what they want to do, and that they can do it for 12 months. Then the main benefits have been the weight loss, and reduction of medication at the start of the programme has been wonderful and really encourages them.