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Update on diabetes National Service Framework

Friday 25 August 2000

As part of the government’s plans to modernise the NHS, a rolling programme of National Service Frameworks (NSF) was launched in April 1998. The diabetes NSF was the fourth to be announced and aims to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes, including raising the quality of and reducing variations between health services. The diabetes NSF will be published in 2001 for implementation in the NHS from 2002.

Progress so far …

The diabetes NSF is being developed with advice from an Expert Reference Group (ERG) that brings together people with diabetes, healthcare professionals and health service managers. Work so far has taken quite a scientific focus by reviewing and updating the clinical evidence for preventing and managing diabetes, and related complications.

The next part of the NSF will be looking at 'care pathways' to develop standards and service models based on the individual needs of people with diabetes. This will involve looking at what people with diabetes need at different points in their lives, including prior to diagnosis, taking a clinical perspective and a user perspective. At the same time, issues including ethnicity, social exclusion, gender, age and patient empowerment are being considered which will influence the approach taken on service models.

As part of this process, the Department of Health is organising the Open Space Event in October 2000 which will involve people with diabetes and healthcare professionals, to ensure that the NSF focuses on the service user. Work is also ongoing to identify the lifetime experiences of people living with diabetes through focus groups and reviews.

Following this, the ERG will be looking at ways of integrating 'care pathways' into service delivery. This will include work on the underpinning themes, such as: human resources, education and training, information management, clinical audit, primary/secondary interface, and health/social care interface. Preliminary work in these areas has already begun.

To date, approximately 150 people, including healthcare professionals and people with diabetes, have been involved in the ongoing development of the NSF. But it is important that you make your own views about priorities and how aims can be achieved known to the Expert Reference Group. Write to:

    Department of Health
    Diabetes NSF Secretariat
    Richmond House
    79 Whitehall
    London SW1A 2NL

    or visit their website