NHS must deliver joined up diabetes care and improve patient knowledge in order to continue progressing.
Partnerships between patients and clinicians are as important as those between primary and secondary care in providing high quality diabetes services, according to a report.
There are an estimated 2.35 million people living with diabetes in the England – and this is set to rise to 2.5 million by 2010, due to an ageing population and a rise in obesity.
The report by Dr Sue Roberts, the National Clinical Director for Diabetes, says that innovative ways of delivering services and more joined up care in community settings is vital for the NHS to continue to provide first-rate services to the growing number of people with diabetes. For example, moving overbooked annual assessments with long waiting lists out of hospitals and in to GP surgeries means more comprehensive check-ups, less duplication of tests and a more convenient service for people with diabetes.
Dr Sue Roberts, National Clinical Director for Diabetes, said:
“There have been significant improvements in diabetes services in recent years, but we cannot afford to stand still – to continue to provide first-class care to an increasing number of people, services need to evolve.
“Self-management is key for people with diabetes to have control over their everyday lives. In any year, the average person with diabetes will spend three hours being cared for by a healthcare professional and 8,757 hours looking after themselves, so the NHS also needs to engage patients – helping them to get the skills and confidence they need to control their own diabetes.
“Redesigning health systems is about achieving better quality care – we want to give the growing number of people with diabetes in England the best, most joined-up care possible. We know that this works, because there are examples of where it is already happening – but the challenge to the NHS is to make sure that this care is available for everyone.”