Helping people manage their diabetes in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley

Posted September 2017

Preventing diabetes is one of the CCG’s greatest priorities. With a rising population that already has a high rate of diabetes and more people becoming overweight and obese, demand on diabetic services is increasing. In 15 years’ time our diabetic population is likely to double, with many more people dying prematurely as a result.

The lack of a community diabetes service has meant that when GPs have needed support or advice, many have referred patients to Darent Valley Hospital. But we have recognised that a large number of people referred to hospital in the past could have been managed in the community.

We offered five of our GP practices a six-month package of additional support to tackle this.

The support scheme included a community diabetic specialist nurse working with practices to review patients who had attended hospital because of their diabetes, or whose condition appeared to be poorly controlled.

As well as this, many patients who had been under the care of Darent Valley Hospital were able to receive their diabetes care back in the community, closer to home at local GP practices.

After just six months the pilot was demonstrating a positive impact as many patients had their diabetes under better control. We received partnership funding for a further six months and appointed an additional diabetes specialist nurse for three days per week, as wells as a diabetes pharmacist.

The support scheme evolved into a whole team of community diabetes specialists. After a year, 532 patients with poorly controlled diabetes had been seen (this equates to 90 per cent of patients attending their appointments); 21 per cent of patients had demonstrated an improvement in the control of their diabetes; and a further 24 per cent had achieved their individual target control measure.

Patients told us they felt more confident about managing their diabetes and they were pleased to have been working with the team.

This ensured that patients with diabetes were seen in the most appropriate place, given the support they need and armed with the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes more effectively.

Shindi Panesar, a local diabetes nurse is pictured receiving her NHS nursing award from Chief Nurse, Gail Locock for the contribution she has made to diabetes care in north Kent. Read more about Shindi’s achievement and about NHS DGS CCG being the first in the country to complete the National Diabetes Audit.