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People in York more engaged with diabetes services

The Vale of York NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has reduced the number of people at risk of serious diabetes complications thanks to a collaborative effort to improve diabetes support services.

The Diabetes Specialist Outreach Team (DSOT) was initiated in October 2017 with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (YTHFT) and engages with people struggling to manage their diabetes. The proactive, targeted approach through primary and secondary care has resulted in 36% and 58% respectively of this specific patient group reducing their HbA1c (average blood sugar level) which represents a significant decrease in risk of all diabetes-related complications.

People with diabetes can be at risk of emergency hospital admission due to high blood sugar levels. The specialised care provided by the DSOT supports their specific needs in order to better understand and treat their condition leading to a healthier life and fewer admissions. This includes reengagement with their GP practice and better management of diabetes long-term.

Dr Sarah Eaton, a Vale of York GP with diabetes specialist interest said: “This innovative project has shown that a specialist team can support this specific group and enable them to improve their health. For example, there was a 45% improvement for people in this group achieving their targets for BP, HbA1c and cholesterol. This has led to a reduced risk of complications and hospital admissions as well as better engagement with health professionals.”

Preventing diabetes is a local priority and since August 2018 there have been 1123 people from the Vale of York referred onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This is a targeted programme for those at risk of developing diabetes which aims to influence behavioural changes to better health.

Dr Nigel Wells, a local GP and the CCG’s Clinical Chair said: “People with diabetes can live a healthy life when they have the right knowledge, support and care to safely manage the condition. I am really happy that joined up working has accelerated local improvement work in diabetes services and enabled the Diabetes Specialist Outreach Team to identify patients more quickly, enabling an improved experience for patients and their health outcomes.”

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