DR Paul Bowen, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton DID you know that one in 20 people in Eastern Cheshire has diabetes and that the number is rising all the time? Of those people, more than nine in 10 people have type 2 diabetes, which is almost entirely preventable if people lead healthy lifestyles.
As type 2 diabetes is linked to being overweight, people can reduce their risk by eating a healthy diet and being physically active. And there is lots of great advice on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk.
Meanwhile, the CCG and its partners are working hard to help people with diabetes take better care of themselves and reduce their risk of foot amputation.
This is important as there were 19 foot amputations in the Cheshire East local authority area in the three years to 2012-13 – the latest period for which figures are available - while 202 patients were admitted to hospital with foot disease over the same period.
And that’s why I’m delighted to report that we have been successful in a partnership bid for £227,000 from NHS England’s national diabetes treatment and care transformation fund. The money will be used by us, East Cheshire NHS Trust and Vernova Healthcare to start a structured education programme for patients living with diabetes and to develop a new team to provide rapid access to specialist care for people with diabetic foot disease.
The education programme will be provided by Vernova, a not-for-profit community interest company established by Eastern Cheshire’s 22 GP practices to provide a range of NHS healthcare, investigations and surgical services to which patients are referred by their GP.
NHS England was impressed by our bid as it proposed a comprehensive approach to the education and treatment of people with diabetic foot disease, together with detailed plans to accelerate referrals. NHS England also recognised that our proposal represented best value for money at a time of significant financial pressure for the NHS.
The service specification is now being finalised to enable the programme to start in 2017-18.