Digitalising diabetes support groups in response to COVID-19

  • 4 May 2020

Recruitment is underway for a new study with Diabetes UK to find out what support people living with diabetes need during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this support should be provided.

For people with diabetes, the government’s physical distancing measures means that diabetes education, routine check-up appointments and peer-support groups have been cancelled. In addition, many people with diabetes will have been asked to stay at home and avoid all contact for at least 12 weeks.

Dr Sarah Sauchelli Toran, in the NIHR Bristol BRC’s Nutrition theme, is running a UK-wide online survey to identify how to best support people with diabetes in the current situation, in collaboration with Diabetes UK. The team will also help two diabetes peer-support groups digitalise their meetings. If this approach is found to be beneficial for people’s wellbeing and managing their diabetes, the framework will be distributed to the over 300 diabetes groups around the UK.

Sarah says:

“I’m delighted to have been awarded Elizabeth Blackwell Institute funds to collaborate with Diabetes UK in their fantastic work during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have started the online focus groups and there is still time to sign up if you’re eligible. A UK-wide survey has also been launched for both people with diabetes and their parents, carers and partners.”

Access the survey

If you are aged over 18 and are living with diabetes you can also join the focus group. To find out more, email

COVID-19 research at Bristol

Find out about more University of Bristol COVID-19 research projects supported by funds from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute.