Community health services ‘vital’ to tackling ‘alarming’ diabetes deaths, says city GP
A Sheffield GP has emphasised the role community health services can play in tackling the hundreds of diabetes-related deaths in the city.
A report by the NHS Information Centre revealed up to 24,000 deaths could be avoided in England each year if patients and doctors better managed the condition.
Dr Jez McCole, a partner at Gleadless Medical Centre who specialises in diabetes, said: “GPs, practice nurses, specialist nurses and diabetologists all have an important role to play in the care of those with diabetes.
“Patients with diabetes need to meet regularly with health care professionals who are passionate about helping them to control their condition, monitoring blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as actively looking for the complications of diabetes and treating them early."
Central Sheffield GP Consortium has pioneered a community-based specialist diabetes support service in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
The service delivers specialist support clinics in the community and provides training for GP practice nurses to provide ongoing diabetic care for patients who currently have to attend hospital outpatient clinics.
A key member of the specialist community team is Adrian Scott, Clinical Director for Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Northern General Hospital.
Dr Jez McCole - himself a diabetic - says diabetics need to meet regularly with health care professionals in the community
He said: "The successful management of any long term condition, but especially diabetes, requires a partnership between patients, their families and healthcare professionals.
“We know that, for many people, attendance at hospital clinics can be costly and time consuming and since 2009 we have been working closely with primary care providers like the GP Consortium to ensure that every person who needs it has access to the specialist diabetes team."