New Diabetes Pathway for Northamptonshire

New Diabetes Pathway for Northamptonshire

"On 13 July, NHS Northamptonshire, the local leader of the NHS launched a redesigned patient 'pathway' for diabetes that begins not with treatment but with prevention.

Patients, carers and a range of clinicians, including consultant diabetologists, nurses and GPs, have all contributed to the redesign." *

Some 1,150 Northamptonshire patients with diabetes were invited by letter to a meeting at the Northampton Hilton Hotel for the new programme to be unveiled and to give them the opportunity to question the team responsible. Sadly, only around 30 people took up the invitation but those who came were rewarded by a good presentation and an excellent Q & A session.

It was explained that by embracing prevention and investing in people and services, initial expenditure would result in ultimate savings: preventing the causes of complications costs less than treating them.

"Some 30,000 people in Northamptonshire are diabetes patients. Current predictions are that the next decade will see that number rise to 48,000. We have considered diabetes care best practice around the world in shaping this development. The 'pathway' addresses three main issues:

  • Prevention of the onset
  • Prevention of complications including heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, sight loss, kidney disease and footproblems
  • Management of complications.

 "What's more, this approach will see more patients taking control of their own condition with more services available in the community rather than the hospital.  We have focused, as part of the way we work today, on quality, innovation, prevention and productivity in order to make savings that can be reinvested in the health service. Over three years this redesign will result in over £3 million of savings which will be reinvested in local healthcare."

Presentations were given by members of the Clinical Reference Group & Panel. Questions and discussion covered topics such as the supply (or non-supply!) of testing strips, the problems of implementing the new strategy, the importance of patient education and the variation of services throughout the County.

Earlier in the day John Walton, Chairman of Diabetes UK Northampton Area Group, appeared on BBC Look East TV to talk about the new programme; he expressed his concern that the focus of the 'pathway' might be mainly an exercise in cost-cutting.

*Italicised quotations on this page are taken from NHS Northamptonshire website.

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