Across the South West there are over 288,000 people diagnosed with diabetes, approximately 10% of which are Type 1.  Estimates suggest another 70,000 more have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.  Nationally, around 17% of inpatient beds are occupied by people with diabetes and diabetes accounts for approximately 10% of the annual NHS budget, of which 10% is spent on managing complications of diabetes.

The aim of the programme is to support the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan to;

Reduce the projected growth in the incidence of diabetes

  • The National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) aims to significantly reduce the four million people in England expected to have Type 2 diabetes by 2025. NDPP supports patients identified at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through a behaviour change programme. By the end of March 2019 approximately 12,000 people in the South West had undertaken an initial assessment and been invited onto the programme.

Support more people to manage their own care effectively

  • To increase the percentage of newly diagnosed people with diabetes who attend a diabetes structured education course. The network has provided tools and guidance to support the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) in accurate recording of data which has resulted in an improved picture of attendance.

Improvement the treatment and care received

  • To improve, in diabetic patients, the achievement of the three NICE-recommended treatment targets (HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure) for adults and one (HbA1c) for children with diabetes. The clinical network has been investing in diabetes learning and training for primary care professionals.
  • Through specialist projects, the network is working to ensure that those who need secondary care support will have access to multidisciplinary footcare teams and diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams to improve recovery and reduce lengths of stay and future readmission rates. There have been significant improvements in the amputation rates, but work is ongoing to ensure that all STPs across the South West are equal to or better than the national average.
  • The network is supporting projects to ensure that, in line with clinical guidelines, patients with Type 1 diabetes benefit from life-changing flash glucose monitors (from April 2019) ending variations across the South West, and nationally.
  • By 2020/21, all pregnant women with type 1 diabetes will be offered continuous glucose monitoring, helping to improve neonatal outcomes.

How we work

  • South West Diabetes Working Group – The working group is a collection of clinical and commissioning representatives from across the South West who formulate work programmes reflecting local priorities, supporting lead clinicians and commissioners in embedding new ways of working into local practices.
  • GP Champions Network – we have established a network of GP Champions who provide peer to peer support to GP practices to help improve the treatment and management of diabetes patients.
  • Footcare subgroup – provides shared learning and baseline data and information to support the reduction of amputation rates.