NHS England announces new diabetes pathway

NHS England has announced a new outline for diabetes care to help improve and reduce the variation of care.

The NHS RightCare Pathway: Diabetes highlights the components needed for an optimal diabetes service for people who have or are at risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The pathway aims to deliver diabetes care with better value in terms of outcomes and cost.

The pathway hopes that commissioners will think about their existing diabetes service and compare it with an optimal service. The pathway provides guidance for commissioners about how improvements can be delivered through optimisation of local pathways.

NHS England has also provided a list of examples of good practice which commissioners and providers can use to help implement integrated care in their local areas.

The diabetes pathway has been developed alongside the national clinical director for Diabetes and Obesity, Johnathan Valabhji, associate national clinical director for Diabetes, Partha Kar, the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, Public Health England, Diabetes UK and a range of other stakeholders.

The pathway identifies issues surrounding diabetes in the UK. It states that there are almost 1 million people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and that 50% of those diagnosed are not being educated about diabetes. More so 60% of type 1 and 40% of type 2 diabetes are not completing care processes.

Seven priority areas are identified in the pathway including decreasing the amount of type 2 diabetes cases, improved detection of the disease, better care planning, inpatient safety, reducing amputations and reducing hospital errors.

Dr Partha Kar, said: “The theme that runs throughout is the need to reduce variation, base interventions on evidence and gain maximal benefit, clinically as well as on a financial basis. These are exciting times for diabetes care with availability of the transformation funds and digital interventions from NHS England also focussing on these areas with NHS Improvement also looking at reducing variation as part of their GIRFT work.

“Only time will tell how successful these priorities are but it certainly helps set the tone for areas to focus on. The challenge now is for all systems to dovetail into delivering these seven priorities with support from all stakeholders including clinical networks, the NHS RightCare team and of course the NHS England diabetes team.”

Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via: reece.armstrong@rapidnews.com

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