In east Kent, there are almost 40,000 patients diagnosed with diabetes, and numbers are increasing.
To improve the care for people, specialist clinicians are recommending a new approach, building on the successful model for services in west Kent.
This new way of working means more specialist services being delivered in GP practices, reducing the need for patients to travel to hospital for straightforward treatment.
More than 700 people shared their views on a major programme to enhance diabetes services in east Kent in the spring of 2021.
East Kent Health and Care Partnership (EKHCP), a collaboration of organisations that have come together to provide better health and care for the people of east Kent, wanted to hear from those living with diabetes, as well as their family and carers.
A survey and series of focus groups identified areas for improvement were:
- better advice and support pre-diagnosis
- more regular GP reviews, face-to-face consultations and check-ups
- improved experience of hospital care
- better signposting to support and guidance, particularly from community healthcare staff
- more joined up working across healthcare staff
- inclusion of carers and family in discussions about care
- improved access to foot care
- access to better information about nutrition and diet.
Improvements following feedback
After listening to patients, clinicians are implementing a number of recommendations to improve diabetes care, such as:
- enhancing foot care services
- introducing a new local insulin pump service
- increasing the use of technology to deliver care.
Visit www.eastkentdiabetes.org to find out more.