Success for north east Essex diabetes service in first year

Praise for diabetes service. Library image.

Praise for diabetes service. Library image.


A service supporting diabetes sufferers in north Essex has been commended for its first year success.

The North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) was introduced in April last year.

Since then it has increased the number of patients receiving support in all eight recognised care processes from two-fifths to 60%.

The care processes for diabetes, recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, include blood sugar levels, eye tests, foot checks and kidney tests.

The figures come as a report from Public Health England this week revealed there may be up to 138,000 people in Essex at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Currently there are 18,400 people living with both types of diabetes in North East Essex, which has risen by 5.3% in the past year.

NEEDS, delivered by the Suffolk GP Federation, has also focused on improving patient education with 95% of patients newly diagnosed with Type 1 and 96% of patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes being offered structured education.

Hospital re-admissions for blood sugar-related illness linked to diabetes have decreased by almost one-third, while two-thirds of outpatients who were being treated by a hospital are now being treated in the community.

Dr Karunakaran Vithian, community diabetologist for NEEDS and clinical lead for diabetes at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust, said: “Ensuring patients receive all eight care processes is one of the most important measures of a diabetes service.

“This is a real achievement, reflecting the hard work of the diabetes team, primary care colleagues and of course, people with diabetes.

“To have achieved these results in the first year of the new model of diabetes care is fantastic and bodes well for the future.”

Ben Ellis, shared practice and innovation manager at Diabetes UK, added: “This is a great example of what can be achieved when healthcare professionals come together across the care pathway to deliver more joined up care.”

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