We commission a wide range of programmes and initiatives that support you to have the right knowledge and develop the skills you need to look after yourself. If you have a long term condition there are a range of support groups that can help you learn how to manage your condition. Some of these programmes are for people with specific conditions and some are for people with one or more long-term conditions. Please see the range of groups below and how you can access them.

Long-Term Conditions

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP)

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is for any adult living in Islington who has one or more long-term health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), depression, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, sickle cell, HIV, ME/chronic fatigue, chronic pain or any other condition. The course is also available for carers.

The course is designed to help you cope with your health condition and improve your quality of life. It is a free six-week course that can help you take more control of your health by learning new skills to manage your condition on a daily basis. Each weekly session lasts two and a half hours.

You can self-refer by contacting a member of the team on 020 7527 1189 or who can advise you of our next courses. Find out more about the course. 


Diabetes Self-Management Programme 

Islington has a wide and varied diabetes self-management offer. The Diabetes Self-management Programme for Patients (DSMP) aims to help people strengthen their health-related behaviours by developing health literacy, building appreciation of peer support, developing collaborative decision-making skills and building knowledge and skills around self-management techniques. The course is free and runs over seven weekly session. Each session is three hours.

All diabetes healthcare professionals, including your GP, can refer you onto the course.

It is recommended that all patients with diabetes should attend an education course. Click here to find out more about the programme. You can self refer by 


The Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Diagnosed (DESMOND) is a one day programme for patients with type 2 diabetes. The programme teaches patients about diabetes and provides lifestyle advice so that they are better able to self-manage their condition. The service is open to all patients with type 2 diabetes.

Referrals can be made through your GP or practice nurse.

HeLP – Diabetes

This is an online tool for adults with type 2 diabetes to learn knowledge and skills to manage their condition. The programme takes a holistic view of self-management and addresses a wide range of patient needs including medical management, emotional management and role management.

Patients can be referred by their health care professional (either your GP, nurse or physiotherapist) or you can self-refer via the website.

When you register, you get access to the HeLP-Diabetes website plus a four-week online course called ‘starting out’ for those newly diagnosed with diabetes.

Healthier You (Diabetes Prevention Programme)

Healthier You is a national diabetes prevention programme for patients who have been identified as being at high risk of developing diabetes. The programme covers 13 sessions over a nine month period. Once you have been referred to the programme, a health coach carries out an initial one-to-one assessment to gain a good understanding of your health and wellbeing. Together, you come up with a personalised action plan supporting you to prevent the onset of diabetes.

The service offers a mix of one-to-one and group sessions in venues all around Islington. Patients are referred by their health care professional (mainly GPs).

Their website offers a lot more information about the programme. 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

A structured programme for patients with MRC ≥3 (i.e. a measure of shortness of breath, in this case those experiencing shortness of breath when walking or changing clothes). The programme takes the form of a low impact exercise session, followed by an education session. It aims to improve patients’ exercise tolerance and provide the skills, knowledge and self-confidence to self-manage. It is delivered by the community respiratory team, led by the respiratory physiotherapist.

Patients can be referred by their GP.

Long-Term Exercise Programme

An ongoing exercise programme provided at three venues across Islington by the community respiratory physiotherapist for patients who have completed Pulmonary Rehab. Your GP can refer you on to this programme. 


Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation

Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation is a group exercise programme for patients who are recovering from cardiac illness and surgery. The programme offers up to 10 sessions of exercise and education at community venues across the borough, with follow up support offered three months after completing the course. The overall aim of the Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation service is to provide all patients who fulfil the referral criteria with a patient-centred service, which optimises their health and wellbeing, enhances their quality of life and minimises the risk of recurrent cardiac events.  

Referral is directly from secondary care following Phase 3 Cardiac Rehab (undertaken in hospital setting). 

Navigator services

Islington Navigation Service

The Islington Navigation Service is available to anyone aged sixteen or over, who is registered with an Islington GP and has a long -term health condition or multiple and complex needs. The service represents, advises and supports patients to access a range of non-traditional or medical services that are available in the borough.

Navigators support people registered with a GP practice, to gain greater awareness and understanding of what voluntary and statutory services are available across Islington. The service supports local people by directing them to services which can help to activate, motivate and support them to reach their goals, so that they can self-manage their condition. 

The navigators are core members of the Islington integrated networks (multi-disciplinary teams based around clusters of GP practices, supporting the highest risk and most complex patients). They offer case management support to these patients and proactively link them to both statutory and voluntary/community services. There are six navigators and a manager, equally allocated across Islington.

Any health or social care professional can refer you to the navigator service, including social workers, GPs, health care assistants, practice nurses, occupational therapists, etc.

Help on Your Doorstep service

Help on Your Doorstep works with GP practices in Islington to help patients access a wide range of non-medical, social welfare support.  They have links to over 100 community based services that can help people with social issues, employment support, welfare rights and debt advice amongst many other services. If you are registered with an Islington GP you can self-refer on to the service. Your GP practice can tell you more about the referral process.