Diabetes Ireland and CarePlus Launch New Service: Patients being offered support programme from community pharmacists nationwide

Today, Diabetes Ireland has joined with CarePlus Pharmacy to launch a unique service to their customers living with diabetes.


As a first step, all customers of CarePlus Pharmacy living with diabetes will receive an information pack with lots of advice on diabetes management plus information on Diabetes Ireland services when they collect their monthly prescription.


Diabetes Ireland has developed training tools with CarePlus  Pharmacy to increase Pharmacy knowledge on diabetes support and management. This will help Pharmacist to offer up to date advice across a wide range of diabetes issues.


Currently, HSE diabetes services are experiencing significant capacity issues as the health service deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is making it difficult for many people with diabetes to access support and advice on their condition. It is estimated there are more than 225,000 people living with diabetes in Ireland, with 90% having Type 2 diabetes, and this is expected to rise to 278,850 by 2030.


For people with Type 2 diabetes who may wish to take part in a peer to peer programme facilitated by a Dietitian/Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Diabetes Ireland has developed its CODE Type 2 diabetes structured education programme to be delivered in an online format. The programme which provides information on all aspects of living with Type 2 diabetes consists of 3 x 2-hour sessions delivered over 3 consecutive weeks and a final 2-hour session after 6 months and is available free of charge from Diabetes Ireland.


For people with Type 2 diabetes who may not have the time to take part in a CODE programme, Diabetes Ireland also has an online diabetes education programme called “Diabetes Smart”, which is designed to help people manage the condition in daily life. The programme is a 55-minute online series of videos, quizzes and visual tools that people can watch and participate in, from the comfort of their own homes. Diabetes SMART is divided into 5 modules that explain:


  • Types of Diabetes(5 minutes)
  • Healthy Eating(20 minutes)
  • Exercise (10 minutes),
  • Diabetes Medications(10 minutes)
  • Associated Complications(10 minutes)


Diabetes Smart provides practical information such as visuals of carbohydrate food portion sizes using everyday utensils to help identify correct portion sizes, tips to reduce portion sizes and advice on reading food labels and how to shop wisely. You can also check your starting fitness levels and be guided on how long to exercise for and what exercise is right for you and view videos on warm-up exercises and prepare yourself for barriers that may stop us exercising despite our good intentions.


From a medical perspective, you will receive information on medications, how they work and side-effects and information on hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars), its symptoms, possible causes and steps for the management of a low blood sugar and how diabetes affects various parts of the body and what to do to avoid associated health complications.


Ms Clair Naughton, Diabetes Nurse Specialist and Regional Development Officer with Diabetes Ireland said “Diabetes Smart has the potential to empower people with Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes to make informed choices towards improving their overall health and I would encourage everyone, especially in the current climate, to complete Diabetes Smart. Diabetes Smart can be viewed at www.diabeteseducation.ie.

Sarah Collins, Pharmacist and Director of Operations for CarePlus’ said “This is a fantastic opportunity for CarePlus Pharmacy to work with the team at Diabetes Ireland in supporting their members. Helping customers to proactively manage long-term conditions such as diabetes is an important part of the CarePlus Pharmacy approach to community Pharmacy. Our teams have benefitted from training with the Diabetes Ireland team and are now looking forward to sharing those benefits with customers around the country”.


“This initiative allows us to reach many people with diabetes that we would normally not reach. I do hope people will avail of our many services from our helpline, education programmes, webinars, and care centre services” added Clair Naughton Regional Development Officer.