Top performing hospital unveils winning diabetes care formula
One of England’s top performing hospitals for diabetes care has unveiled its winning formula for helping people with the condition.
Dr Ali Chakera, consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, said: “It can be difficult for some diabetes patients to keep tight control over their glucose levels.
“Two years ago, we looked at the problem from the patients’ point of view, and developed a multi-specialist team who could offer holistic support to meet an individual’s specific needs.
“This approach gave us the opportunity to offer care in a highly coordinated and flexible way which could adapt over time as our patients’ needs changed.”
The team includes a wide range of specialists, from doctors, nurses and dieticians through to psychologists and foot care specialists, working with people who have been referred from other departments within the hospital. Their care is tailored to each individual’s requirements, helping them to self-manage their condition as much as possible.
This approach has proven so effective that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals is now ranked in the top 15 per cent of hospitals in the entire country by the National Diabetes Audit. This was based on how many of the people with diabetes are able to keep their glucose levels within strict boundaries.
Dr George Findlay, chief medical officer and deputy CEO at BSUH, said: “These results are outstanding and show the power of working together in new ways to improve patient care.
“The diabetes management team have worked incredibly hard over the past two years to improve outcomes for our patients, and I’m delighted to see that externally audited data is showing the progress that we’ve made.”
Significantly, the data shows that the team’s efforts are helping women control their glucose levels in different stages of pregnancy, a time in their lives which diabetes makes more complicated and dangerous.
In the two years, since the holistic service was first developed, there have been no diabetes related birth defects experienced by babies of mothers under the BSUH team’s care. In addition, over three quarters of all pregnant mothers are able to consistently meet exceptionally stringent targets, thanks to the holistic care provided by the team.
Ruth Copeman, a paramedic who has type 1 diabetes, said: “Little did I know that the team at the Royal Sussex County Hospital were going to change my insulin filled life so positively. Never have I felt more cared for, and also being seen as an individual rather than a condition is so refreshing. The positive impact this wonderful team of people have had on my life cannot be stated enough. Thank you!”