Funding worth almost £600,000 has been awarded to improve services for people with diabetes living in Norfolk and Waveney.
The funding (from NHS England) will be used to support educational programmes and to provide new models of integrated diabetes care across the whole STP area.
Professor Mike Sampson, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, said: “Diabetes is a complex and challenging condition for which people need the skills and confidence to cope with the daily demands of self-management.
“Diabetes education is key to successful day-to-day diabetes management and can be life-changing for people with diabetes. There is also a real need for better integrated working between all elements of the service.
“This NHS England funding was obtained through a collaboration between local CCGs and Acute Trusts and Public Health, and offers a real chance to improve outcomes for people with diabetes in Norfolk.”
The funding will be split between two projects with £274,000 used to improve the uptake of structured education and £315,000 to help achieve the NICE recommended treatment targets for HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure and develop new service models for care.
Among the issues facing people in the region and attending structured education is that the county is predominantly rural and services tend to then be far spread, rural isolation with limited transport links this creates issues around travelling to structured education.
Norfolk and Waveney predominantly has an older population which presents issues with mobility and raises the need for bespoke education.
One of the key principles of use of the funding was that it should be expected to generate savings through reduction in the rate of development of complications and other deterioration in people with diabetes and that such savings should be reinvested in the services in order to help make them self-sustaining.
Dr Tony Palframan, GP and GP Educator at Heathgate Medical Practice and leading a review on Diabetes in South Norfolk, said: “Diabetes is a condition which affects a large number of people within Norfolk and Waveney.
“This investment will make a fantastic difference to diabetes care through improved education and is a great example of how organisations can work together to benefit patients.”
It is estimated that within the Norfolk and Waveney STP area, some 79,354 people aged over 16 living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. This figure is predicted to rise to 83,687 by 2030.
The high prevalence of diabetes relates to the local demography, with a large population of older people. Rurality and poor public transport infrastructure present additional challenges in NHS service provision across the Norfolk and Waveney STP area.
In Norfolk, diabetes care is one of the key long -term conditions where demand is rising significantly due to the ageing population and increase in obesity (numbers expected to rise by 9000 by 2025).
The CCGs included in the bid were Great Yarmouth and Waveney, North Norfolk, Norwich, South Norfolk and West Norfolk.
James Paget University Hospital, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn and Norfolk Community Health and Care were included in the joint bid.