Bedfordshire CCG secures £0.5million funds to boost the health of diabetes patients Credit: BCCG

Another successful BCCG bid

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) has secured approximately £500,000 for improving diabetes healthcare for the second year running. This follows a successful bid to NHS England (NHSE).

BCCG’s 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.”

The NHSE Diabetes Transformational Funds will allow the CCG to implement three improvement programmes to benefit the health of people who have diabetes. These cover:

  • Structured education for diabetes patients to help them look after themselves
  • Specialist foot care team to reduce amputations due to poorly managed diabetes
  • Treatment targets so that more patients with type 2 diabetes have blood sugar tests, blood pressure checks and help to reduce their cholesterol level

In Bedfordshire, almost 30,000 people (8% of the adult population) are known to have diabetes. This is below national incidence of 8.7%, but with cases on the increase, this figure is set to rise.

The DESMOND educational programme

Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti said:

“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 CCG plans to build on the positive results from the 2017/18 investment in diabetes care. This has seen foot amputations fall by 11% and fewer hospital admissions caused by diabetic foot disease.

The funding will also be used to support GP practices.

The CCG’s 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% 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.”

Diabetes educational programme

DESMOND is a local health educational programme, funded by BCCG, and offered to people newly diagnosed with diabetes, to help them learn about their condition and how to manage it.