Extra £500,000 to support people in Bedfordshire living with diabetes

People living with diabetes in Bedfordshire are to benefit from an extra £500,000 of funding.

People living with diabetes in Bedfordshire are to benefit from an extra £500,000 of funding. - Credit: Archant

People living with diabetes in Bedfordshire are to benefit from an extra £500,000 of funding.

Bedfordshire CCG has secured the additional funds to improve diabetes healthcare for the second year running after a successful bid to NHS England.

About 30,000 people in Bedfordshire, or eight per cent of the adult population, are known to have diabetes – slightly below the national average – but with cases on the increase, this figure is set to rise.

Bedfordshire CCG clinical programme lead Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti said: “The new funding is good news for patients in Bedfordshire because people with diabetes are at higher risk of having a stroke, heart trouble, sight loss or amputation, and are more likely to end up in hospital.

“Benefits include offering an additional 560 places for patients on our education programme DESMOND – giving patients the knowledge and confidence to self-manage their diabetes and stay in better health.”

The NHS England Diabetes Transformational Funds will allow Bedfordshire CCG to fully implement three improvement programmes developed in the county in the past year to benefit the health of people living with diabetes.

These cover structured education for diabetes patients to help them look after themselves, a specialist footcare team to reduce amputations due to poorly managed diabetes, and treatment targets with the aim that more patients with type 2 diabetes will have blood sugar tests, blood pressure checks and help to reduce their cholesterol level.

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The CCG plans to build on the positive results from the 2017/18 investment in diabetes care, which has already seen foot amputations fall by 11 per cent.

The CCG says there have been fewer hospital admissions caused by diabetic foot disease, thanks to the community-based Multidisciplinary Footcare Team.

The funding will also be used to support GP practices.

Bedfordshire CCG GP clinical lead for diabetes Dr Shashidhar Ponnala said: “GP surgery staff are working closely with patients to develop individual care plans for diabetes, and over 90 per cent of practices have signed up to improving treatment targets – in line with NICE guidance – to ensure diabetes patients get their annual health check-ups to help them keep well.

“The CCG is also offering care plan training for practice nurses and additional specialist diabetes nurses. We also know that people can find it difficult to stay motivated and may become depressed, so a part-time psychologist will be employed to support the mental health needs of these patients.”