Patients with diabetes launch new NEEDS service they helped create

22 April 2014

The Chairs of the two Patient Diabetes Forums in North East Essex have helped launch a new NHS service for adults with diabetes which was shaped with patient involvement. The NEEDS service began this month with the aim of improving care for all adults living with diabetes in North East Essex. It has plans for much greater patient involvement in the service and more education to help patients manage their condition better for the benefit of their long term health.

In the lead up to the launch at the beginning of April there have been five local patient events attended by over 170 people who heard about the plans and gave their feedback. All those who attended the events also voted on their favourite design for the NEEDS logo. National charity Diabetes UK, who helped to facilitate the events, has been consulted throughout the development of the service.

Alan Penney, Chair of Tendring Diabetes Forum, said: “The local events were a great opportunity for diabetes patients to have an input into how their service is shaped. Patient involvement is important and very much at the core of the North East Essex Diabetes Service.”

Roly Buss, Chair of Colchester Diabetes Forum, said: “We have been very involved in the development of the new service and look forward to seeing improved standards of care and higher levels of education for adult diabetes patients in our area.”

Sharon Roberts, Eastern Regional Manager, Diabetes UK, said: “The new service is based on outcomes to provide personalised care and the new provider has worked with patients to assess all their needs. The patient engagement events were successful and these will continue to be held annually.”

The majority of care for the 17,000 adults in North East Essex living with diabetes, including annual health reviews and foot checks, will be provided by GPs and practice nurses who will receive incentives, support and diabetes training and will be supplemented by a diabetes specialist team led by a consultant diabetologist. Podiatry for those patients with increased risk will be delivered by the current provider, ACE, with podiatry clinics running alongside the diabetes clinics at community venues in Colchester, Clacton and Harwich.

A summary of the patient feedback and how this will be incorporated into the service will be published in April.  NEEDS has been commissioned by North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and is provided by Suffolk GP Federation.

The NEEDS helpline is 0345 241 3313, website or email There is also a new Facebook page, see