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Blueprint to improve diabetes services

By Editor
28th October 2014
Charity, Commissioning Department of Health Latest news

A blueprint to help commissioners and clinical leaders meet the needs of people with diabetes in their communities has been developed.

The sample service specification for diabetes has been created by Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS England National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes, with contributions from Diabetes UK.

It is based on the NICE Quality Standard for diabetes to help local commissioners and clinical leaders meet the needs of people with diabetes in their communities.

Professor Valabhji said: “Diabetes presents many challenges and problems, which is why good clinical care, as well as supported good self-care, practice is needed to help make a real difference to the lives of the 2.7 million people who are currently living with the condition in England.

 “The sample Diabetes Service Specification tool was developed to provide a clear framework as to how this can be achieved by providing good patient-centred, integrated care that crosses primary, community and secondary care settings.”

The sample diabetes service specification sets out  what services people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes should be getting and what services should be available to support them to manage their condition and to help reduce their risk of complications.

It provides examples of how services within communities can be delivered in a joined up way to meet these standards – from GP surgery, community services to hospital care.

This sample specification provides a possible framework for integration between primary and specialist care and emphasises the importance of commissioning services so that people with diabetes have better access to specialist care.

Diabetes UK is urging clinical commissioning groups and clinical leads to use the tool to help ensure that the right diabetes services are in place in every community to help improve healthcare for people with the condition.

This is because at the moment a third of people with diabetes do not get the basic recommended healthcare that they need to effectively manage their diabetes and help reduce their risk of serious complications such as blindness, amputations and strokes.

While the sample specification is not a mandatory requirement there are clearly defined goals that commissioners and clinicians should be looking to focus their services on such as increased uptake for structured education, reduced incidence of major amputation and increased uptake of individualised care planning.

Bridget Turner, Director of Policy and Care Improvement at Diabetes UK, said: “It is great news that this resource has been developed, as it will help commissioners and clinicians to put in place the care that people with diabetes should expect to help them effectively manage their condition. 

At the moment many people with diabetes are not getting the basic healthcare they need putting them at risk of serious complications

“At the moment many people with diabetes are not getting the basic healthcare they need putting them at risk of serious complications.

“We would encourage local leaders to make use of the sample specification to ensure they are commissioning the right services for people with diabetes. It is presented in an easy to use format and provides clear goals for commissioners and providers to work together to deliver integrated care and improve standards of diabetes care across the board”.

To download a copy, click here.

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