A DIABETES service helping people across north Essex is set to mark its tenth anniversary. 

The North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) has provided care and advice to thousands of diabetes patients across Colchester and Tendring since 2014.

It will hold a special ceremonial event on May 15 to mark the occasion.

NEEDS is managed by the Suffolk GP Federation and commissioned by the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board.

It was among the diabetes services establishing tight-knit relationships with GP practices to ensure necessary support and knowledge were available for optimal patient care.

About seven per cent of Colchester and Tendring's population has diabetes and of this 22,000 have Type 2. 

NEEDS operates clinics in Clacton, Colchester, and Harwich where patients are provided bespoke advice on managing diabetes including diet, exercise, foot care, and insulin pump operation.

The anniversary event will comprise a photo display from the services history, and an award-giving ceremony for notable supporters and staff. NEEDS has organised several engagement days and patient forums throughout the year.

NEEDS patient Rosie Forshaw said: "There have been many changes to diabetes care since my diagnosis, including the introduction of new technologies.

"The NEEDS team has been brilliant at adopting these and helping patients like me to benefit from the advances in treatment of Type 1 diabetes. I feel extremely lucky to have had the care and support of the NEEDS team during my transition to an insulin pump which has given me much more freedom."

For more information, patients should visit the NEEDS website.