A new tool designed to help GPs and other healthcare professionals to boost referrals to structured education courses for people with diabetes is being launched today.
The new Improving your diabetes knowledge “Information Prescription” is being made available nationally from today via EMIS or Vision or the Diabetes UK website.
It was developed as part of ongoing efforts to help support people living with diabetes gain better control of their condition, and reduce their risk of developing devastating, life-threatening complications.
The charity said that every week, diabetes led to more than 169 amputations, 680 strokes, 530 heart attacks and almost 2,000 cases of heart failure, but its own analysis had shown that only 30% of people living with diabetes felt in control of their diabetes.
Therefore, a diabetes course was a good way of gaining knowledge about managing the condition in a way that could help prevent or delay these complications.
The tool, announced by Diabetes UK and Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), represented an opportunity for GPs and other healthcare professionals to:
- have a useful conversation with their patients about structured education courses
- boost referrals to local diabetes courses for everyone living with the condition
- to help make these a key part of the care and treatment people with diabetes received.
Diabetes UK was commissioned by Kent and Medway STP to produce the “Information Prescription” as part of the Diabetes Transformation Fund initiative – a £44m programme by NHS England in 2017 to improve care and to reduce the number of people experiencing complications.
Bridget Turner, director of policy campaigns and improvement at Diabetes UK, said: “More than 500 people with diabetes die prematurely every week because of complications. But the heart-breaking reality is that, in the majority of cases, these could have been prevented or delayed with the right support.
“Diabetes is a serious condition and gaining control of it can be hard. We want this new Information Prescription to be a useful reminder for healthcare professionals to have a conversation with their patients with diabetes, as part of their care planning process, to encourage them of the benefits of attending diabetes education courses.
“These courses play a vital role in supporting people with diabetes to manage their condition, live well and, ultimately, reduce their risk of developing serious complications in the future.”
Michelle Whitham, diabetes commissioning project manager for Kent and Medway STP, said: “We know that education is vital to people living with diabetes and have been working hard over the past two years to increase the numbers of attendees across Kent and Medway.
“As well as improving attendance in our own area, we wanted to contribute to the wider ambition of doubling the numbers of current attendees across England, and to offer CCGs [clinical commissioning groups] the tools they need to drive these numbers up in an effort to reduce the number of complications.
“Information Prescriptions are not only an important tool for GP practices, but also offer invaluable information to people living with diabetes”.