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The Diabetes Manager – It’s the small things

By Editor
1st December 2016
Care planning, Commissioning Education Good practice Latest news The Diabetes Manager

Abigail Kitt is a healthcare manager who has worked in the diabetes sector since 2004.

Over the course of her career, she has built up knowledge in translating diabetes NHS policy into improving outcomes.

Her blog, The Diabetes Manager, shares Abigail’s passion for all things diabetes from a manager’s perspective.

I am learning about blogging all the time. Recently I have learnt that you can get an email notification when I publish a blog (isn’t technology clever).  So if you want to register just scroll down and on the right and there is a little box that looks like this:

Follow by Email

Another small thing is that in my last blog I mentioned that there might be a fifth area for the diabetes funding from NHS England called ‘enhancing pathways’. This is not correct. Serves me right for being impatient and not waiting till the actual bidding guidance came out.

The diabetes funding bidding process announcement has been delayed so we all a wait with eager anticipation.

So with those small things tidied up I wanted to write about another small thing.

If you’ve read my blog before you will probably have noted that I am particularly passionate about diabetes patient education. See my previous blogs – Brick Dust and Diabetes Patient Education – A Moral Imperative?
There are so many things in diabetes care to feel strongly about. I wonder why this one continues to bubble to the top of my personal interest?

I think it is partly because whilst working for NHS Diabetes I was given this as my key lead area, so that exposed me to a more detailed understanding. It then became easy to be interested in something you get to learn quite a lot about.

Another reason is the people I meet. The people who are so dedicated to good quality patient education. They are just so flipping inspirational that I can’t help but be infected by them.  Also meeting patients who say how patient education has made such an enormous difference, is so powerful.

But mostly – it just makes sense. When we know that diabetes patients only see a healthcare professional for an average of three hours a year;  how else do we expect to manage the rising need without enabling, supporting, encouraging and allowing people with diabetes the opportunity to help themselves?

So, no one is more delighted than me that the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework Indicators for Diabetes and the funding bids strongly focus on ATTENDING education. Yes I know. It’s not for everyone.

I know it can be a struggle for people with diabetes and healthcare professionals to attend and provide courses. I also know that education is a complement to everything else and not the panacea. But when patients do attend a well-run, quality course it can be transformational.

Currently the data for ‘attendance’ is not being captured correctly. A smashing piece of work was done by York and Humber Diabetes Clinical Network which shows that 25 per cent to 30 per cent of people with diabetes do attend education which is five times higher than the nationally reported figure.

It’s sad where services are getting good attendance rates at patient education that this is not being shown in national statistics. It’s hard to justify, sustain, get a pat on the back, and show what an amazing job is being done by diabetes teams without good quality data.

That is why I am delighted that Diabetes UK, with the support of the 11 national Clinical Networks, education providers and many others have produced some guidance on improving data capture for ‘attendance’ at patient education.

This will allow us to properly capture and recognise the work that is going on out there and also can have a more informed understanding of where gaps need to be addressed.

The guidance has four simple Read Codes (The explanation of Read Codes can be found here).

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