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Type 1 diabetes courses and education

Explore the different courses and resources to help you build your knowledge of type 1 diabetes management.
Content last reviewed and updated: 26.02.2024

Two women chatting about type 1 diabetes courses and education to help manage type 1

Courses for type 1 diabetes management

There are courses and education resources that can help you manage your type 1 diabetes. Whether you’re newly diagnosed and learning to manage type 1 or have lived with it for some time and feel in need of a refresher, these courses and self-learning programmes can help you manage your type 1.

What is DAFNE?

DAFNE (Dosage Adjustment For Normal Eating) is an opportunity to learn, try new things under supervision, and connect with other people living with type 1. The course aims to help you learn how manage your type 1 diabetes so that type doesn’t get in the way of the things you want to do.

DAFNE covers things like carb counting, insulin dosing and blood glucose management, but also how you manage your type 1 around things like exercise, illness, and social activities.

Who can go on a DAFNE course?

A DAFNE course is for adults (aged 17 and over) with type 1 diabetes.

How long is a DAFNE course?

A face-to-face DAFNE course is run over five days – this can be either over one week (Monday to Friday) or spread over five weeks.

If you attend DAFNE online, it will take five weeks to complete.

How to get on a DAFNE course

Find out more on the DAFNE website and talk to your Diabetes Healthcare Team if you want to attend a DAFNE course.

BERTIE Diabetes

BERTIE Diabetes (Bournemouth Type 1 Diabetes Education Programme) is a course that helps you learn how to manage your type 1 diabetes. It focuses on supporting you to achieve your own goals relating to your type 1, learning how to adjust insulin for your lifestyle (and not the other way round) and how to live a healthy life with type 1.

Who can go on a BERTIE Diabetes course?

BERTIE Diabetes is for anyone with type 1 diabetes who is over 16 and on multiple daily injections.

Where can you do a BERTIE Diabetes course?

In-person BERTIE Diabetes courses are currently only available at the University of Bournemouth.

How long is a BERTIE Diabetes course?

You attend a six-hour group session once a week for four weeks and are encouraged to use the time in between to practice your new skills.

How to get on a BERTIE Diabetes course?

If you would like to join the BERTIE Diabetes course in-person, ask your GP to refer you to the Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre (BDEC). If you are already a patient at BDEC, contact them directly. Visit the BDEC website for more information.

BERTIE online learning

If you’re not able to make an in-person course, or would prefer to self-learn online, BERTIE Diabetes offers online education. BERTIE Diabetes Online covers how to manage your type 1, how type 1 affects your body and how to deal with things when they don’t go right.

There are also sections on getting to grips with data from your type 1 technology (aimed at people with type 1, carers and healthcare professionals), dealing with life changes like pregnancy, dementia and illness, and a separate section for teens and young adults.

The online course is completely free and can be completed in your own time.

Find out more and sign up on the BERTIE Diabetes website.

Are type 1 diabetes courses just for people who have been newly diagnosed?

No. Even if you have been living with type 1 for many years, you can attend courses like DAFNE or BERTIE Diabetes. Your life might be different from how it was when you were first diagnosed, and these courses can help you personalise your type 1 management with any changes in your lifestyle of individual needs. You might also find it helpful to refresh your knowledge or learn about new ways of managing type 1.

Can I get time off work to do a course?

Most employers will allow you to take time off work to attend a course, but it’s up to them whether you will need to take this as paid sick leave, paid annual leave or unpaid leave. Find out more about time off work for diabetes management.

Do you have to do a type 1 diabetes course?

If you’re starting on an insulin pump, some hospitals insist that you do a DAFNE course, or a similar course.

Otherwise, you don’t have to do a type 1 diabetes course, but they are recommended as a good way to learn or refresh the skills you need to manage type 1. Courses can also connect you with other people living with type 1 and allow you to get tailored help and support for your individual circumstances.

Self-learning

There are a number of resources available to help you manage your type 1. Here are some of our top picks:

  • t1resources.uk contains resources put together by people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals
  • Roche Accu-Chek Carbohydrate Counting Tool provides free online training on how to count carbs. You don’t have to use an Accu-Chek pump or meter to use the tool
  • RunSweet is a website that provides information for people who want to exercise with type 1

Free type 1 diabetes information event

A type 1 diabetes discovery event attendee with back to camera chatting to a JDRF volunteer who is smiling and wearing a JDRF t shirt

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