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Patients in Leicester City receive better support for diabetes than elsewhere in the UK

2nd March 2018 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

Leicester has the fourth highest number of patients diagnosed with diabetes in the country, but thanks to a number of leading local initiatives, local city patients are receiving better support to control their diabetes than other areas of the UK.

Patients who are either diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are closely monitored by their GP Practice to make sure their blood sugar, blood pressure and fat stores in the blood (cholesterol) (three treatment target areas) are at a healthy level so they don’t develop complications associated with their diabetes. These complications can include heart disease, kidney damage, eye problems and some patients could even suffer a stroke.

The numbers of patients in Leicester achieving their three treatment targets for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes control have surpassed the national average.

In 2016/17, Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group has been working extensively with its member GP practices and diabetes education partners Effective Diabetes Education Now (EDEN) and EMPOWER to provide an enhanced level of support for local diabetic patients. The results show that a higher percentage of diabetic patients in Leicester are receiving better support to manage their diabetes than elsewhere in the UK.

Leicester City has three education programmes running to provide support for patients at risk of developing diabetes or patients who already have diabetes.

Patients who have Type 1 diabetes can access the Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) national programme which supports people to manage eating habits and insulin. Referrals are through the patients’ GP practice.

For patients with Type 2 diabetes they can sign up for Spirit Healthcare’s EMPOWER course especially tailored to newly diagnosed patients. Latest figures show that 99% of patients who have used this service have had an extremely positive experience and would recommend it to a friend. Patients are able to refer themselves via http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/empower-structured-diabetes-education-programmes/.

EMPOWER also offer specific courses for Black Minority and Ethnic (BME) groups where the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is much higher, due to culture and diet as well as most recently, a course specifically for 18 to 25 year olds with diabetes.

Lastly, Oviva has recently been appointed to design and deliver a preconception counselling programme for women with Type 2 diabetes focused on supporting women to take steps to prepare for pregnancy. This programme will launch in May 2018 and will include weekly counselling with a Diabetes Specialist Dietitian and a medications review with a Diabetes Specialist Nurse. In addition, patients will be able to access structured education modules via an online learning portal and the Oviva smartphone app, where they will be able to track their weight, blood sugar, food and activity.

People are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they are over 40 years old, or over 25 in south Asian communities, have close relatives with diabetes, are overweight or are of south Asian, Chinese or African Caribbean origin, even if they were born in the UK.

Professor Azhar Farooqi, GP Lead for Diabetes and Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “One in four people in Leicester have either a diagnosis of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Therefore it is important that we get the support for these patients right. We are delighted that the latest figures from Public Health England show that patients with diabetes are being supported better to meet the three treatment targets. This will help them to stay well with diabetes and shows us that diabetes is being managed well in our practices.”

Professor Farooqi continued: “Three GP mentors now provide support and advice to our 57 member practices on diagnosing, monitoring and managing diabetes patients. They run sessions for all practice staff to improve their knowledge and awareness of diabetes which means that they can support patients better. We also work closely with EDEN to deliver training to our practices.”

Over the last five years the number of people in Leicester developing diabetes has increased by 26%. Research shows that the reasons behind this include diet and lifestyle choices such as eating unhealthy foods, physical inactivity and cultural behaviours.

For more information on diabetes, and any of the support schemes mentioned, visit www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk.

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