Edinburgh Napier University produces festival survival guide for diabetics

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T in the Park

With T in the Park about to kick off this weekend, a guide to managing diabetes at music festivals has been developed by an Edinburgh Napier University lecturer and the city’s Western General Hospital.

With diabetes reaching pandemic proportions throughout the world, and music festivals becoming increasingly popular, Jacqui Charlton at the university’s school of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care identified a gap in the existing information for people with diabetes.

One of the main goals in diabetes care is to achieve or maintain good quality of life and to minimise the complications caused by the disease through good glycaemic control. For people with diabetes, attending a large music event requires a lot of careful planning. Issues like food, alcohol and exercise can all effect glycaemic control, and other factors like accommodation, personal safety and sanitation need to be considered in more detail than for those without diabetes.

Jacqui Charlton is a lecturer and practitioner in diabetes care, working at the Western General Hospital and at Edinburgh Napier’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care. She says: ‘After speaking to patients, as well as concerned parents, we identified a recurring issue around festival going. Many were unsure as to how they would cope with, or even fully enjoy, their festival experience. Working with my colleague Liz Mackay at the Western General, we produced this leaflet, specifically aimed at managing diabetes at music festivals.’

The guide is now distributed throughout hospitals, GP surgeries and diabetes centres in the Lothians and there have been a number of requests from similar centres in England. There are now plans to distribute the leaflet across Scotland and at some of the big music festivals next year in collaboration with Diabetes UK.

Jacqui adds: ‘T in the Park, which will start this week, is Scotland’s biggest music festival. Last year, over 80,000 people visited T in the Park each day. This equates to approximately 625 people with diabetes attending daily.’

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