Diabetes care across North east Essex has been rated ‘outstanding’, following a recent inspection by NHS England.

Diabetes care across North east Essex has been rated ‘outstanding’, following a recent inspection by NHS England.

Diabetes is one of the major challenges facing the NHS and figures show that around 19,000 people across North East Essex currently live with the condition, which if not managed correctly can result in serious health complications such as blindness, kidney failure, stroke and loss of limbs.

An assessment, drawing on diabetes data, as well as a review by an independent panel looked at two key diabetes indicators and provided a snapshot of how one CCG’s performance compares with other CCGs. Both attendances at Diabetes Education (key to diabetes management) as well as the achievement of treatment targets for people with diabetes were rated as ‘Outstanding’ when compared with other CCGs.

Adele Holcombe, who manages the North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) service which in Colchester which is run by Suffolk GP Federation, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and we’re delighted North East Essex CCG has been recognised for providing high quality services for people with Diabetes.  Our team is committed to providing high standards of care for all patients. The Diabetes Specialist Team is led by a Diabetes consultant, and we support all local GP practices, which has been vital in the improvements seen locally. Everyone across these combined services has worked hard to give patients the best care. Our aim is to provide more care across a range of community settings, reducing the need for hospital visits and providing services closer to home.  Following this assessment it is evident that this is being achieved.  While we are pleased, we will want to continue to ensure our service continues to evolve in order to best support our patients.”

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 Normal Eating) 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 aim of both nationally accredited courses is to empower people with diabetes to be confident in self-managing the condition.

Dr John Clark, lead consultant diabetologist at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a great example of joint working between GP teams and the hospital diabetes service to improve care for people with this condition.

“Specialist diabetes nurses from West Suffolk Hospital now attend GP surgeries and see local patients with their practice nurse, helping the GP team improve the management of their patients’ diabetes.  The hospital nurses also run education courses for all people with newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes and special training courses for Type 1 Diabetes.  They have had very impressive feedback from patients and GP teams about the positive impact their advice and guidance has had on helping patients and health care professionals manage the condition.”

If you or a member of your family have diabetes and would like further advice and support from the team, please call 0345 241 3313 in Colchester.  For more information about the assessments, visit the MyNHS section of the NHS Choices website, which is available at www.nhs.uk