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Diabetes UK project encourages people to improve NHS care

Diabetes UK is helping involve people in improving their diabetes care, through a recently-completed two-year project, which has led to a permanent online resource for healthcare professionals.

The scheme, ‘User Involvement in Local Diabetes Care’, worked with three NHS organisations to involve people with diabetes in improving their care. Each group was made up of around 25 local people living with diabetes. The project was funded by NHS Diabetes.

What has the scheme achieved?

In Hammersmith and Fulham

The user group increased awareness of patient education in the service redesign process, produced a Diabetes Personal Care Charter and launched a mentoring programme.

In Lincolnshire

The user group produced a leaflet for newly diagnosed people about what to expect from diabetes services, reviewed diabetes information on the local NHS website and produced a regular newsletter about diabetes.

In North Mersey

The user group worked with a social marketing team to improve attendance rates for retinal screening, developed guidelines on home blood glucose monitoring, gave advice to paramedics and changed the advice given to patients by ambulance crews. They also looked at how NHS savings could be made by addressing over-prescribing medication for people with diabetes.

What next?

The three groups that took part in the ‘User Involvement in Local Diabetes Care’ project show that it is possible to involve people with diabetes in the care they receive.

Online resource for healthcare professionals

Diabetes UK has now developed practical advice and tools for healthcare professionals to follow so that they can involve patients in diabetes care.

This resource is the Making Involvement Happen website, which was shaped by what has been learned from the project.

Involving patients more important than ever

“Patients are the greatest untapped resource and if there is any time we need to involve them, it is now!" said David Jones, Diabetes UK User Involvement Manager. 

“Tackling the NHS future funding challenge - to create better services and better value for patients, the NHS and the taxpayer - will only be achieved, and publicly supported, if all roads to its delivery are travelled in partnership with patients who use the services.

“The emphasis on involving users is more important than ever, with the planned changes to commissioning structures outlined in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011.” 

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