There are now more than twice as many people living with diabetes as there were in 1996, with the NHS spending £9.6 billion each year to treat the condition and its complications.
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) released its Excellence in commissioning diabetes care report on 27 April to showcase clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England which are pioneering new methods of engaging with and treating diabetes patients.
The report contains tips on commissioning diabetes care including:
- involving patients in their own care;
- collaborating with providers on the move from activity to outcomes based approaches;
- and using data effectively to demonstrate the case for change.
NHSCC chief executive Julie Wood said: ‘As this report demonstrates clinical commissioners up and down the country are finding innovative new ways to help patients with diabetes as well as supporting those at risk of developing the condition.’
One of the trusts included in the report is Slough CCG, who engage in both targeted support for communities and education in GP practices. The CCG is ranked second-best in the country on delivering the eight care processes identified by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as representing good practice in diabetes care.
Also commended were Surrey Downs CCG’s work to improve communication between GP practices and paramedics in incidences of hypoglycaemia and Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs’ joint approach to diabetes care, which focuses on what the patient wants to achieve rather than only their blood sugar levels.
‘Despite the excellent work taking place, commissioning effective services for diabetes can be complicated and we know that sometimes there are national obstacles CCGs need to negotiate when doing so,’ said Ms Wood. ‘That’s why we have identified a number of ways in which national bodies can support CCGs to take further action to improve care and reduce costs in this vital area.’
NHSCC is calling on national bodies to help CCGs ensure that more people receive diabetes care in the future by working with CCGs to identify top-priority patient outcome measures, promoting new contracting mechanisms which better reflect population-based care and establishing clearer rules of engagement on collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and CCGs.