Top rating for diabetes services across Suffolk and north-east Essex

Diabetes services have been praised. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Diabetes services have been praised. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Diabetes care across Suffolk and north-east Essex has been rated ‘outstanding’ following an inspection by NHS England.

Figures show around 48,000 people across the two areas currently live with the condition, which if not managed correctly can result in health problems such as blindness, kidney failure, stroke and loss of limbs.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which plan health services in their local areas, are assessed on their diabetes education and achievement of treatment targets.

The CCGs in Suffolk and north-east Essex received the top rating.

Leaders say greater links between health providers is driving improvement locally.

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Adele Holcombe manages the North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) service in Colchester, which is delivered by Suffolk GP Federation.

She said: “This is a fantastic achievement and we’re delighted North East Essex CCG has been recognised for providing high quality services for people with diabetes.”

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Ms Holcombe said the aim of the service was to provide more care closer to patients’ home to avoid hospital admissions.

Specialist diabetes nurses from West Suffolk Hospital now attend GP surgeries to meet diabetic patients and educate staff.

Dr John Clark, lead consultant diabetologist at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a great example of joint working between GP teams and the hospital diabetes service to improve care for people with this condition.”

The NHS provides two nationally-recognised courses across Suffolk and north east Essex which are designed to empower diabetics to self-manage their illness.

The DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating) course aims to equip those living with Type 1 diabetes with the skills to count carbohydrates and self-adjust insulin doses.

The DESMOND (Diabetes Education for Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) course is for people living with Type 2 diabetes and covers a range of topics including the nature of diabetes, carbohydrates and fats, goal setting and ways of working towards lifestyle improvements.

For diabetes advice, call 01473 704180 in Ipswich and east Suffolk, 01284 713311 in west Suffolk, or 0845 2413313 in Colchester.

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