Suffolk & North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System

Diabetes treatment and care programme - structured education ad treatment targets

September 2018

Improving uptake of structured education (SE) by both the prevalent and newly diagnosed population is another key ambition for our system. It has been widely proven that SE improves awareness of how people can keep themselves healthy and minimise their chances of developing diabetes. The NHS provides two nationally-recognised courses across Suffolk and North East Essex which are designed to support people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

  • The DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Diabetes) course aims to equip those living with type 1 diabetes with the skills to count carbohydrates, self-adjust insulin doses and have more confidence in self-managing their condition.
  • The DESMOND (Diabetes Education for Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) course is for people living with type 2 diabetes and covers a range of topics including the nature of diabetes, carbohydrates and fats, goal setting and ways of working towards lifestyle improvements.

The main aim of both nationally accredited courses is to empower people with diabetes to be confident in self-managing the condition. Across the system we have carried out and ran a range of marketing events:

  • Awareness raising and importance of Structured Education
  • Tied to national Diabetes day (14/11/17)
  • BBC Radio Suffolk & BBC Essex day long broadcast on Diabetes inc. consultant interviews
  • HbA1c checks across the system via our various lifestyle providers
  • Road Shows – Buttermarket (Ipswich)/APEX (Bury St Ed)/Colchester Town centre
  • Digital advertising on screens by tills, front of supermarkets, garages and pubs
  • Twitter, press releases and case studies
  • Locality groups with patient reps
  • Focussed on patient self referral to structured education via website (telephone/email)
  • Marketing of website via posters, press releases etc.

We have recently carried out a mini procurement for a new digital structured education product. A digital diabetes product will allow certain patients to access a form of structured education from their homes. Suffolk and North East Essex system will be the first area in the East of England to have a digital product like this for structured education.

Another key part of the diabetes treatment and care programme is improving the achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets (TT) (HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure) and driving down variation between CCGs and between GP practices.

  • Achievement of the treatment targets leads to better patient outcomes.
  • Better treatment target control reduces the risk, and delays the onset, of expensive complications.
  • There is variation in achievement of the treatment targets between CCGs and between GP practices that cannot purely be explained by differences in the populations.

Across Suffolk and North East Essex, with the funding available, we have helped to improve local services and have funded:

  • Joint Mental Health Specialist Practitioners to help with the psychological aspect of diabetes
  • Consultant GP visits to discuss the importance of treatment targets
  • Community nurse specialists to help improve care within the community