Leicester launches first UK diabetes village
A brand new diabetes village for people with type 2 diabetes has opened in Leicester.
Located in the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre on Spinney Hill Road, the main aim is to provide easy access to a wide portfolio of support services all under one roof for those who have the condition, or are at risk of developing.
The village is being trialled for six months and has been developed by Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in partnership with Silver Star Diabetes, a local health charity.
This is a first for the UK and we want to make sure we get it right for patients
It will be home to a range of services that are important for effective diabetes management, including blood sugar checks, lifestyle coaching advice, foot care, eye screening and diabetes education classes.
Previously, people would have to have seen their GP multiple times to have their regular blood sugar and insulin checks, with separate visits to different services and locations to receive the wider range of care. The new village concept means people can now drop in on a Thursday between the hours of 10am and 6pm. They can then pick and choose the services they require all in one location, equipping them with the right tools to manage their condition quickly and independently.
The services at the village can also be used by people who are at high risk of developing diabetes; they do not need to have a diabetes diagnosis.
In Leicester City, there is a higher than average number of people with diabetes (8.9% compared to 6.4% nationally) and this is expected to rise further to 12% by 2025. Leicester also has a higher proportion of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) residents compared to the UK national average and they are genetically more likely to get diabetes (at a higher risk).
Professor Azhar Farooqi, Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group and lead on diabetes, said: “We want people to use the village and come to us and tell us whether the diabetes village is a service they want to keep and whether it’s a service they will use. This is a first for the UK and we want to make sure we get it right for patients.”
Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes and MP for Leicester East said: “I am thrilled that Leicester City CCG has taken up the challenge of creating the first diabetes village in the UK. The idea was born out of the needs of diabetics such as myself and others having to make up to eight visits to different professionals on different days at different times and at different venues.
“There will now be a one stop shop so it will take just one visit. The partnerships that have been created with local charities, such as Silver Star Diabetes, means that the NHS will reach parts of the community which they couldn’t previously. Prevention is critical. I want to see a diabetes village in every city in the UK. Leicester City CCG should be warmly commended for showing the way by putting patients first. From being the capital city of diabetes we will become the champions of diabetic care.”
During that time engagement will be undertaken with the public to see if it is a service that they would like to see continue as part of their diabetes prevention and management.
A short survey is available online and a paper copy is available on request from GP practice receptionists. The online version of the survey can be accessed here: