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What We Do

  • We deliver face-to-face DESMOND group diabetes information sessions across Bedfordshire in community venues
  • We offer virtual Type 2 diabetes education sessions via Microsoft Teams
  • We provide face-to-face sessions to the South Asian community in Bedfordshire
  • You may have also seen us promoting our services at health-related events across Bedfordshire

Primarily, we deliver the DESMOND programme, for people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, for less than one year. For those who have lived with Type 2 diabetes for longer than one year, the ADAM programme is more suitable.

DESMOND stands for Diabetes Education Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed and is an informative, friendly structured group education session. DESMOND is an evidence-based, group education course, which aims to support people living with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes to help them learn more about self-management of their Type 2 Diabetes.

What does the DESMOND programme include?

  • Thoughts and feelings around Type 2 Diabetes
  • Understanding diabetes and glucose: what happens in the body
  • Understanding the risk factors and complications associated with diabetes and how to prevent these complications
  • Understanding more about monitoring and medication
  • How to take control – Food Choices – Physical Activity
  • Learning about the foods that will affect our blood glucose levels and foods that will not. Understanding foods that are good for our diabetes as well as heart health, blood pressure and weight. How activity can help and what types of activity ‘count’.
  • Planning for the future

How do I join a DESMOND course?

To join a DESMOND course, ask your GP or health professional to refer you or alternatively you can self-refer by completing and sending us the self-referral form . Participants are very welcome to bring a friend or relative with them to the face-to-face course.

For further information or to book onto a course, please contact our friendly administrative team at 01234 730428 or

Choose from one of the following options:

  1. Face to Face DESMOND – groups are held at various venues across Bedfordshire, including Bedford, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Biggleswade, Flitwick and Shefford. A full day session is 9:15am-4:15pm. The day is free, we just ask you to bring a packed lunch and your own mug if you wish to have a hot drink (tea, coffee and milk are provided).
  2. Virtual DESMOND – group video call held via Microsoft Teams. The course runs as 2 x 3-hour sessions held one week apart in the comfort of your own home.
  3. South Asian face-to-face group session in Punjabi/Urdu languages held at a community venue near Bedford Hospital South Wing.
  4. MyDesmond App – we can provide you with a free login to this evidence-based online learning tool which provides a wealth of information about living with Type 2 diabetes, enabling you to learn at your own speed and in your own time.

What do participants think of our education sessions?

The prospect of attending a session can be daunting, but we often receive excellent feedback demonstrating how much our individuals have enjoyed the programme.

  • So, happy and so glad as I was muddled before as had listened to lots of hearsay. Now confident as I know what is true, thank you for this.
  • Very good, would advise others to attend. Will help me manage my diabetes now I have more understanding. Thank you for your help.
  • The presenters were so friendly, helpful and very understanding of everyone’s situation. It was a fantastic course and would most definitely recommend this course to anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes. A massive thank you to everyone.

You can also read one person’s experience of attending a DESMOND course on Diabetes UK.

DESMOND education is not suitable for me or my patient?

For those who would struggle with a group situation, are housebound, have learning needs or do not speak English we can offer the following options:

  1. One-to-one telephone or video call with a diabetes educator
    Individuals are sent a printed booklet containing basic diabetes information prior to the call to structure the session and generate discussion. Calls last between 1-2 hours.
  2. Interpreter one-to-one telephone call with a diabetes educator
    The three-way call connects the educator, patient and interpreter, allowing discussion about diabetes management in the patient’s spoken language.
  3. Type 2 Diabetes Education videos
    We have co-produced eight videos with Autism Bedfordshire and Learning Disabilities. These are a good starting point for anyone keen to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes, with the introductory video below: