The Diabetes Specialist Services Liaison Group (DSSLG) has produced a booklet that looks at the challenges diabetes poses for the NHS and how specialist services can help overcome them.
'Diabetes in the NHS: Commissioning and providing specialist services' highlights the vital role that consultants play in leading, supporting and mentoring specialist teams at all levels within the National Health Service.
“Guiding someone with diabetes through their long and often difficult journey is best achieved by working with a range of healthcare professionals, including specialists who have a wealth of training and experience in managing the condition at every stage,” said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.
“The UK’s 2.2 million people with diabetes need expert support from specialist services to ensure they live as long and healthy a life as possible. This is why cuts to these services are so worrying – the number of people with diabetes is continuing to grow, and so is the pressure on the NHS to help them. If there are not enough specialists available across the country, it puts the lives of people with diabetes in real danger.
“In short, people cannot manage their diabetes alone. They need access to specialist services when and where is convenient for them. Diabetes UK is calling on the NHS to recognise and address this need before it’s too late.”
Dr Jiten Vora, Chair of the Diabetes Specialist Service Liaison Group who produced the report, added: “With the rising numbers of patients with diabetes, many different professionals will be needed to provide appropriate care. With their lengthy involvement in the delivery of all aspects of diabetes care, consultants are an invaluable resource that can assist in planning and delivery of structured care for patients and the necessary training for the multi-professional teams involved in diabetes care. Their wide and varied contribution to diabetes care as a whole is perfectly embodied in this booklet."