On World Diabetes Day (14 November) the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service is raising awareness of the local support available to people living with diabetes and encouraging more people to get involved.
The North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service aims to make care more joined-up for patients between primary care (GPs) and secondary care (hospital doctors), and make sure patients have the tools they need to manage their condition. It is a partnership between the NHS (including diabetes specialists and GPs), patients, domiciliary care and the voluntary sector (including Diabetes UK).
The service has been shortlisted in the HSJ Awards 2018, one of the biggest awards in healthcare. The Acute or Specialist Services Redesign award recognises teams that have successfully changed the way they deliver services to better meet the needs of patients.
People living with diabetes in North Devon are now benefitting from health and wellbeing events, peer support groups and exercise classes, which have been held in Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe, Torrington, South Molton and Holsworthy.
Anyone wanting to set up a diabetes peer support group in their area, with support from the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service, can get in touch with Amy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events coming up soon
All are welcome to attend any of the events coming up over the next few weeks, which include:
- North Devon Diabetes Local Support Group – educational meeting
- 19 November, 10.30am-12.20pm, Roundswell Community Centre
- Ilfracombe Diabetes Support and Advice Group – educational meeting
- 22 November, 1pm-3pm, Brookdale Church
- North Devon Diabetes Local Support Group – informal meeting
- 3 December, 10.30am-11.30am, St John’s Garden Centre
More details and future events are on the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NorthDevonIntegratedDiabetesService
Through the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service Facebook page, people can also request to join the North Devon Diabetes Facebook group, which is an online peer support group.
What else has the project done?
Behind the scenes, healthcare organisations have made care more joined up for patients by improving links between organisations and sharing specialist knowledge.
Healthcare professionals are working together to create a standardised care plan so that all GP practices are asking all the right questions as soon as a person is diagnosed with diabetes and beyond.
Specialist podiatrists and dietitians are sharing their knowledge with GPs, practice nurses and domiciliary care workers, which is helping these care professionals ask questions and carry out assessments that help catch problems early on before they develop into more serious complications.
The idea to set up the service was first conceived by Dr Alastair Watt, a diabetes consultant at NDHT. Dr Watt sadly died in 2017 before his vision was fully realised, but his passion to put people with diabetes at the heart of the service lives on with the project team who worked with him.
One year on from the launch of the project, Andrea Beacham, North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service programme manager, said: “The goal has always been to improve support for people with diabetes so that more people have access to the right support, at the right time and in the right place.
“What we now have is a joined-up service that better supports the growing number of people living with diabetes, is improving outcomes for these people and is saving money through doing things more effectively.
“This is exactly what Dr Watt envisaged and we hope he would be proud of what we have achieved for the community in North Devon.”
The team will find out if they have won at the HSJ Awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 21 November.
More information about the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service is available at www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/north-devon-integrated-diabetes-service