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Government reveals NHS shake-up

The Government has unveiled a White Paper which outlines changes to the structure of the NHS in England, aiming to give GPs a greater role in commissioning services for patients and give patients more choice in their care.

The White Paper was delivered to the House of Commons this week by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley. He told MPs he wanted to get rid of inefficient targets and bring resources and decision-making as close to the patient as possible.

Patients to be given more choice

"Diabetes UK welcomes the commitment to the involvement of patients in decisions about their care and to ensuring care is personalised," said Diabetes UK Senior Policy Officer, Stella Valerkou.

"The current pilot programme for diabetes, ‘Year of Care’, demonstrates how personalised care planning actively involves a person in deciding and agreeing their goals for managing their diabetes. This pioneering programme could lead the way for similar schemes for other long-term conditions."

She added: "Care planning is an important part of supporting people with diabetes to self-manage, which in turn can help to reduce the risk of them developing the devastating and costly complications of the condition. At a time of financial crisis, investing in supported self-management could also provide long-term savings to the NHS." 

Need to involve people with diabetes

"The commissioning of high-quality integrated diabetes services will require the involvement of people with diabetes, their carers and the range of healthcare professionals to ensure services meet local needs," said Stella.

"Commissioners will need to be monitored to ensure clear accountability for decisions made and their impact. We echo existing concerns about the current capacity and willingness among GPs to take on the responsibility of commissioning."

A number of consultations will now take place, examining the details of aspects of the White Paper. "Diabetes UK is committed to contributing fully to the consultation to get the best result for people with diabetes."

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