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CCGs invited to bid for slice of £40m fund to improve diabetes care

MPs report warns variable quality of diabetes care must be tackled

Adrian O'Dowd

Thursday, 24 November 2016

CCGs are to be invited to bid for a slice of a £40 million fund being provided by NHS England to help them improve diabetes care.

The development comes as an influential group of MPs have published a report looking at the current state of diabetes care in England.

The fund, which will be launched before the end of the year is designed to help CCGs improve services in four priority areas:

  • improving uptake of structured education,
  • improving access to diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams, 
  • improving access to a multi-disciplinary foot team,
  • improving the achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets.

The need for improvement in care being provided was underlined in a new report, Levelling up: tackling variation in diabetes care, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes (APPG Diabetes).

Over the past year, the group’s MPs spoke to doctors, nurses, policy professionals, international experts, technologists and companies as well as people with diabetes to prepare their report.

It details what the MPs called the “current lottery of care” for people with diabetes, not just by postcode but also by type of diabetes and age.

MPs warned that too many people were missing out on the vital care and support they needed to manage their condition properly.

Currently, there are more than 4.5 million people living with diabetes in the UK and treating diabetes already costs the NHS approximately £10 billion a year, but the vast majority (80%) of this is spent on preventable complications such as amputations and blindness.

One example of the postcode lottery was evident in the amputation rate which is over eight times higher in the worse performing areas compared to the best, said the MPs.

The report urges CCGs to bid for the extra £40 million to help reduce the amount of complications and save the health service significant sums of money, arguing that by focusing on priority areas, healthcare providers could dramatically improve diabetes care across the country.

The priority improvements highlighted in the report include:

  • giving people with diabetes tailored treatment plans and the ability to input into the decision-making process with their healthcare team,
  • supporting people with diabetes to manage their condition better,
  • giving access to key technologies.

Chair of the APPG Diabetes, Keith Vaz, said: “Our message is that variation is not a signal of despair, but of hope. It shows that good care can be achieved, and we’re tasking CCG leaders with making it happen everywhere to tackle the diabetes crisis.

“CCGs and other health service providers need to have more staff who can educate patients about diabetes, as well as more diabetes specialists on hand to deliver NICE’s recommended yearly healthcare checks for people with diabetes.

“There are simply some providers who are just not delivering, so we hope CCGs will use this extra money to ensure there is better diabetes care in their catchment areas.”

Diabetes UK chief executive, Chris Askew, said: “Too few people with diabetes are being offered an education course and even if they are offered, take-up is low. We want to see real change and quickly.”

Diabetes UK said the invitations to bid have been slightly delayed but were due before the end of the year.

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