A new initiative is underway in Swindo, Wiltshire, to improve the level of care for people with diabetes in the town.
Last year NHS Swindon was revealed as the second worst primary care trust (PCT) in the country for diabetes care and the worst in the south west.
Health statistics for 2009/10 released by the NHS Information Centre showed that less than 10 per cent of diabetics in Swindon received all nine of the vital, annual health checks required by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines to help identify the early signs of diabetes-related complications.
In addition, NHS Swindon was among the worst performing PCTs in the country in five out of eight diabetes care categories in the recently released national diabetes audit.
A steering group set up by the PCT in 2011 to address this issue have now put together an agreement for GP surgeries in the town. Those that sign up will receive some funding and extra diabetes education training for doctors and nurses .
“So far, only two surgeries in Swindon haven’t signed up for the extra training, hopefully they will, but if they don’t we need to know why,” said group member Steve Macmaho, of the Diabetes UK Swindon Group.
“We hope that the situation in Swindon will begin to improve within the year and for the health service, that’s a quick turnaround. It will only be achieved by the doctors and nurses changing the way they work.”
Steve, who is part of the steering group, said that diabetic patients need to be aware of what checks they should be receiving during their annual diabetic review.
A spokesperson from NHS Swindon commented: “Nearly every practice has signed up to this initiative, which is dedicated to enhancing diabetes care in Swindon and complementing work already in progress.”