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Diabetes Psychology Service

The aim of the Diabetes Psychology Service is to support people living with Diabetes with improving their quality of life, increasing their skills in managing Diabetes and helping you cope with any difficulties that you might experience because of diabetes.

We know that living with Diabetes can be tough – whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with the condition for a long time. Diabetes can impact on all aspects of your life, including how you feel, how you think about the future, and how you get on with other people. At the same time, the stresses of everyday life can also impact on how you get on with your Diabetes.

If this sounds familiar to you, the Diabetes Psychology Service may be able to help.

Who can access this service?

We work with adults diagnosed with Diabetes and who are under one of the Diabetes Teams within Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, either at Bedford Hospital or the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

Our therapeutic offer

We offer psychological support for difficulties related to Diabetes. This may include:

  • Difficulty adjusting to a diagnosis of Diabetes
  • Diabetes-distress or ‘burnout’
  • Psychological distress affecting treatment or recovery, such as depression
  • Anxiety or phobias that interfere with treatment, such as fear of hypoglycaemia or needle phobia
  • Difficulty managing treatment or making lifestyle changes
  • Difficulty coping with complications of diabetes, including multiple complications or recurrent hypoglycaemia
  • Issues with eating and insulin omission due to weight concerns
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms connected with Diabetes or its treatment, including trauma after admission to hospital
  • Psychological distress after treatment, for example, changes to appearance
  • Psychological distress linked to disability or loss of bodily function
  • We can also work with you to assess your psychological needs and prepare for new or major treatments. For example, an insulin pump therapy or surgery.

We offer 1:1 appointments with our therapists and also groups. We work in partnership with the Bedfordshire and Luton Talking Therapy Services. You will be able to discuss your support needs at your first appointment.

How to access the Diabetes Psychology Service

You can either speak to your Diabetes Nurse, Dietitian or Diabetes Doctor to be referred, or you can contact the Diabetes Service directly on 01234 792287 (Bedford Hospital) or 01582 718050 (Luton and Dunstable University Hospital).

What happens next?

Once you have been referred, we will send you a letter or email with a link to a few questionnaires that we ask you to fill in. After you have returned the questionnaires, we will be able to offer you an appointment. Appointments are either face-to-face at the hospital or virtually via video call. You can let us know about your preferences when you are referred.

You can come to the initial appointment on your own, or you are welcome to bring a friend or relative. Part of the discussion will include whether this service or another service may be helpful to you. Some people benefit from just a few sessions, other people prefer support over a longer time period.

Interpreters can be arranged if needed.

Where are we located?

We are located at Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Diabetes Services.

  • Bedford Hospital South Wing, 2nd Floor, Caudwell Centre, Kempston Road, Bedford, MK42 9DJ
  • Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, 1st Floor, Zone E, Lewsey Road, Luton, LU4 0DZ