How can I take part?

  • If you would like to attend a course, please speak to your GP or practice nurse who can enrol you onto an EMPOWER course. Or you can click here to book your place online.
  • Anyone who would like to go on the course must:
    • be 18 years of age or over;
    • be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; and
    • be registered with a GP in East and North Hertfordshire.

How does it work?

  • EMPOWER is a group diabetes education course that supports people to better manage their diabetes and avoid long term health complications.
  • People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes across East and North Hertfordshire are able to attend a local EMPOWER course to receive support and advice on how to self-manage their diabetes to live a healthier quality of life -  it’s free, paid for by the NHS and only lasts four hours!
  • It will support you in learning about what you can eat, how to exercise differently and how medication can impact your diabetes.

Why should I attend?

  • Attending a diabetes education course is a very important part of learning how to self-manage your diabetes and avoid long term health complications.
  • The EMPOWER course will help you understand what diabetes is, the effect it has on your body and how to make small, achievable changes to the food you eat and your everyday life.
  • The course focuses on diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, setting personal goals and enabling you to take better control of your diabetes.
  • 99% of people would recommend EMPOWER to their friends and family if they were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Here is what people that have already been on an EMPOWER course have said:
    “You are providing an excellent service –it now seems possible to get my diabetes under control because I know exactly what to do to change things”
    “I’ve totally changed my eating habits”
    “By adding in just 15 minutes walking a day –nothing excessive –I have managed to not only lower my blood glucose levels but also achieve more consistent levels throughout the day”

I’ve received a welcome letter telling me I’ve been referred to EMPOWER – when will I be offered a date?

  • We aim to offer a place on a course within four weeks of referral – often sooner.
  • We will send you a letter usually offering a range of courses across East and North Hertfordshire that you can attend.

I’ve received a letter offering me a place on an EMPOWER course and want to confirm I can attend/which course I can attend.

  • Thank you. Please contact us on 0800 852 7460 or email
  • We will send you a text message or give you a call just to check you are still ok to attend a couple of days before the course.

I’ve received a letter for an EMPOWER course but I no longer wish to attend.

  • Diabetes education courses can have a positive impact on many aspects of your life both for yourself and your friends and family. People who have completed the course rate it highly and enjoy spending time with other people who attend the course.
  • If you are sure you don’t want to attend, we will record that within your records and advise the GP who enrolled you. Please let us know on 0800 852 7460 or email

How much does the course cost?

  • The EMPOWER course is provided to you free of charge by the NHS

Where will the course be?

  • Sessions are run in local venues near to you. Most courses are run during the week but we also offer some evening and weekend courses. Look on the Courses page for a list of the next courses.

Are there courses at weekends and evenings?

  • EMPOWER courses are delivered at various times during the day and this includes some weekends and evenings where required.
  • Your GP practice can let us know whether an evening or weekend course will suit you better – or you can contact us on 0800 852 7460 or to let us know.

How long does a session run for?

  • The course is approximately four hours long and delivered in one session.

Can I bring somebody with me?

  • You can bring one carer, friend or family to attend the session with you.

Is EMPOWER delivered in other languages?

  • EMPOWER can be offered in a number of languages reflecting the needs of the local population.

I have a disability - can you cater for me?

  • EMPOWER is designed to meet the needs of all people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If we understand your needs, we will find a way to ensure you receive the education.
  • EMPOWER is delivered in accessible venues including near to public transport routes.
  • We are able to offer materials that are adapted to individual needs, e.g. braille and large print handbooks.
  • Carers can attend with or on behalf of someone who is eligible for the course.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

  • All course material is provided.
  • We will send you some information in advance of the course that we ask you to bring, including a questionnaire. We ask if you could please try and fill out this questionnaire in advance.
  • Refreshments will be available; however, you are welcome to bring a light snack.

I have received an EMPOWER QOL Questionnaire, what is it?

  • It is a simple series of questions that helps to shows the wellbeing of the person who completes it.
  • This helps us to evaluate the course and how effective it is.

How many people attend each course?

  • Usually, courses will be for between 6 and 12 people (including any carers who are attending to provide additional support).

Who teaches the course?

  • EMPOWER courses are routinely led by trained educators who will facilitate the group session and answer any questions that you may have.

My GP has enrolled me. What do I do now?

  • We will send out a confirmation letter and a questionnaire to fill in and take with you to the session.

What personal details do I have to provide and who are they shared with?

  • Your doctor will share some key pieces of information with us including contact details and clinical information that are relevant to your diabetes.
  • We follow data protection laws as well as additional data management required by the NHS.
  • We only share your data to enable you to attend the course. We do not share it with any third parties except for the purpose of running the EMPOWER course.

With your consent, we may also share your email address with Mapmydiabetes to create an account. Mapmydiabetes is a web-based service that provides you with information about diabetes, its complications and treatment, as well as some tools to help you set and achieve goals.

I don’t meet the current criteria for EMPOWER but I would like education what can I do?

  • Please speak to your GP or practice nurse who can advise you of other alternatives. Also, please look at the Local Services section of the website.

I’m unhappy with the service I received – what are my rights?

  • We welcome feedback from every person attending an EMPOWER course. Whilst the feedback we receive is usually very positive, we recognise there are times when we don’t always get everything right. It is important we know when this happens so we can improve the service. Please click here to find information about how to let us know when we get something wrong, your rights under the NHS Constitution and how to make a complaint if you need to.

What if I am unable to attend a face-to-face education course?

If you are unable to attend an EMPOWER face-to-face course you will be offered the option to access Mapmydiabetes, an online education programme. Mapmydiabetes is suitable for adults with type 2 diabetes who have an email address and access to an internet-enabled device (computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone).

Will you be offering ongoing education support?

Everyone who attends an EMPOWER course will be offered access to Mapmydiabetes, an online education programme. All you need is an email and access to an internet-enabled device. Once you are set up with an account you will be able to access your account as often as you like.

Who is Spirit Healthcare?

  • Launched in 2009, Spirit works with the NHS delivering structured diabetes education across the UK to help empower people to better manage their health. Working with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Primary Care providers, Spirit’s programmes are developed for patients with a range of long-term conditions (including diabetes) to help them make positive lifestyle choices and support their wellbeing.

If you require any information about a course, please call on 0800 852 7460
or email