NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a new initiative set to improve services around diabetes for the local community.
The new initiative will work collaboratively with healthcare professionals and patients across West Lancashire in order to review the current service and highlight where it can be strengthened.
Already, according to the CCG, 5,223 people in West Lancashire are diagnosed with diabetes and many more remain undiagnosed.
Dr Bapi Biswas, one of the GP executive leads at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, talks about the initiative. “As well as disrupting patients’ health and lifestyle, diabetes can reduce life expectancy by 10-20 years making it an incredibly serious disease. This new initiative is a major step forward for diabetes in our local area. The current service is somewhat fragmented and there is an evident need for improvement. By working collaboratively with other healthcare and diabetes experts including the national charity Diabetes UK, we aim to shape the future of diabetes for the people of West Lancashire.
To kick start the activity, NHS West Lancashire CCG hosted an event for adult type 2 diabetes earlier this month which attracted almost 60 diabetes influencers including diabetes specialist nurses, patients and GPs. The group inputted their views about the current service, which are currently being analysed and addressed by the local CCG team, with a view to produce a new model for primary and community services.
Dr Biswas continues: “Already coming out of our first event are some excellent ideas such as combining foot and eye checks at the same appointment, saving time for the patient and resulting in a smoother service all round.
Barry Gill from Scott Estate in Ormskirk, who has adult type 2 diabetes, attended the visioning session: “It is so reassuring to see the local commissioning team in West Lancashire addressing such a big issue as diabetes. They are not only listening to the skilled professionals that work with this disease every day but also the people like me who live with it day in day out. By working together and sharing ideas some real progress is hopefully just around the corner.
- 10-20 year reduction in life expectancy
- Leading cause of blindness in people of working age
- Most common cause of kidney failure
- 100 amputations carried out each week – around 80% are preventable
- Up to 24,000 people with diabetes are dying each year from causes that could be avoided
NHS West Lancashire CCG is currently working in shadow form with NHS Central Lancashire but will be the main commissioning body for the area as of 1 April 2013.