Managing medical conditions

Many people manage long term medical conditions and still live a fulfilling life. Chronic illness can be difficult, especially when balancing symptoms with a job, but there is help available.

Due to high levels of obesity in the UK, the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise to over five million within the next five years. In 2020, there were around 112,000 people in Kent and Medway with diabetes, making it a huge challenge for the NHS.

Although diabetes can lead to serious complications, there is a lot of help available to help manage it. 


The NHS offers information and medical advice about diabetes, including pre-diabetes, when to see a doctor, causes of diabetes, living with diabetes, diabetic eye screening, and links to Type 1 and Type 2 specific information. 

NHS England provides information on various national programmes including tailored, personalised help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes UK is the leading charity for people living with diabetes in the UK, providing information and support. You can find out if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes with the ‘Know your risk’ tool.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation funds and promotes the use of research, gives support and a voice to people with type 1 and their families. 

As obesity is a cause of diabetes, you should also consider weight management advice to help prevent and manage the disease. 

Local support

NHS Kent and Medway provides information about the services commissioned to support people living with diabetes.

Diabetes Education Kent and Medway can help you to improve your knowledge and help you take control of your condition to self-manage it effectively. 

The Paula Carr Diabetes Trust is an independent charitable trust supporting people in Kent and Medway living with diabetes.

Medway Community Healthcare provides a specialist community-based resource that provides education, support and treatment to empower people living with diabetes to live independent, healthy lives.  

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Adult Diabetes Nursing Service is a specialist nursing service for patients in East Kent. 

Diabetes UK allows you to search for local support groups near you.

Maidstone and Area Parents Support Group helps support children with Type 1 diabetes and their families. 

Fix Type 2 Community Group in Gravesend is a programme of nutritional and lifestyle advice that has been proven to help participants reduce weight, blood sugar levels and diabetic medication requirements.

Most people with coronavirus (COVID-19) feel better within a few days or weeks of their first symptoms and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, symptoms can last longer and this is known as long COVID or post COVID-19 syndrome. 

Symptoms can include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, joint or muscle pain, chest pains, and not being able to focus or think straight.

Although long COVID is a new condition which is still being studied, there is lots of national and local support available. 

National support

Your COVID Recovery is an online rehabilitation service providing support for patients and their friends and families.

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has published guides to support people to manage post-viral fatigue and conserve their energy as they recover from COVID-19.

The COVID Aid Support Community is a space for those affected by COVID-19 issues including Long Covid, loss, grief and trauma.

Although an NHS guide, the guidelines for supporting our NHS people affected by Long COVID could be used by social care staff. The guidelines help line managers and leaders understand what Long COVID is, and how they can support colleagues who are experiencing symptoms.

NHS Employers provides detailed guidance on how to support colleagues affected by Long COVID.


NHS Kent and Medway provides a summary of support available within Kent and Medway, including the Post-Covid Assessment Service. 

You may be able to access support through your employer. If your employer provides Occupational Health support, you may be able to be referred to them. Many employers also have an Employee Assistance Programmes that you can access directly.