Sunday, 28 September 2014

Recent events

Deckchairs lined up in the snow with blue skies
Les Deux Alpes, March 2014
Having caught up with events from a month or two ago, it's time to return to the more recent past. A quick summary:
  • I went to the Food and Drink Festival
  • Two tradesmen have provided quotes
  • Domestic appliances continue to cause trouble
  • The hall is showing signs of water leakage at gutter level
  • My mobile phone had a fit in the night
  • The Tuesday community diabetes clinics are interesting
  • I attended a presentation given by a colleague
  • I attended a public meeting and had to do some facilitation
  • The second patient education course that I'm delivering has started
  • I had to prepare for an upcoming course
  • I had a 'trial lesson' in a glider.
The Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival was lovely, the weather was fine and warm and reports in the paper suggest there were 25,000 visitors. I can believe it; there were certainly crowds. I bought some lime pickle and chose a South African lamb curry for lunch on Saturday, and Caribbean jerk chicken with rice and peas on Sunday.

Tradesman report: The fourth carpenter I contacted actually came to see the airing cupboard, and has even followed up with a quote. I would ideally like to get a second opinion, which means finding a fifth carpenter. I am not optimistic, but I have another two phone numbers. The electrician has provided a quote for replacing the fuse box; the oven is working well on its fan setting after its repair, but the grill has now stopped working - I will do some research before calling in a repairman this time. And there is staining on the newly painted hall walls that suggest the guttering or leading might be leaking - this is a job for Alf. Lots to do in the house, as always. I won't even mention the garden, it is too distressing.

We had a disturbed night when, for no apparent reason, my mobile phone started to reboot itself over and over again at about 3 a.m. The battery is built in and can't be removed, so I took the phone downstairs and attempted to put the SIM card into a different phone. What with being half asleep I managed to lose the SIM completely, leaving me phoneless. Then there was the faff of having to find an alternative method of setting the morning alarm, and finding a way to take the phone into a shop to sort it out. It turns out that EE had made a mess of an automatic software update, so I met several other people in the shop with the same problem. It's fine now, and only cost a few hours sleep and a trip into town.

The main work news concerns the reason that I have now been employed on Tuesdays - the Clinical Commissioning Group in the area, which is responsible for making sure that all health services are available as necessary, has stumped up some money in order to try and address the backlog of patients waiting for their structured education on Type 2 Diabetes (called DESMOND). I will be trained to deliver this training next week, and have received the pack which requires me to observe a course before I do the training myself. There are none in the area to observe in the time available, so they have sent me three DVDs to watch, and some academic papers to read as well as some written homework.

My Tuesdays are now planned out until December, with community clinics to cover for a colleague who is on holiday and then to allow her to do some home visits, and then four DESMOND courses have been scheduled. The community clinics are very similar to my hospital ones, but there are a few different options around the edges for referral to local activity programmes and weight management groups. The biggest challenges were getting me physical access to the building, and electronic access to the computer systems. I still don't have a code to allow me to print, but when I do I will have access to the biggest fanciest printer/copier in the world.

My colleague's presentation was about the lower carbohydrate diets that we are facilitating for people with diabetes who want to lose weight, and she was very good. The public meeting was the first of two where Diabetes UK and the Clinical Commissioning Group have invited people with diabetes to respond to proposals for change to their services. There are various eminent personages who introduce themselves, then facilitated groups to provide the attendees' views about what they like and don't like about diabetes services, and then a panel of experts to answer specific questions. This time I was asked to facilitate the discussion on one table; next time I am on the panel of experts. It will be daunting. The first question to the panel this time was about the quality of hospital food, and there are no easy answers to that one.

The second course for people with Type 1 Diabetes has gone quite well. The team is very relaxed about my contribution, but I feel that I need a bit more rigour in my approach. This may be achieved by going on the DESMOND course - I have watched the DVDs, all six hours of them, and done my homework too. I believe that I will need to do lesson plans, and peer review, and will have to prove that I am competent before being let loose on real people. I'm hoping to follow the same process to improve my delivery of the the Type 1 education, but we'll see.

You'll have to wait for the account of my flight in the glider, and it may be a while. Next week is packed with extra-curricular events including the trip to London for the DESMOND training.

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