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Work to improve diabetes care for young people in Newham becomes QiC awards finalist

1 November 2016

A health scheme at Newham University Hospital has been recognised for its achievements in joint working and improving patient care by being named as a finalist in the 2016 QiC diabetes awards in the category of ‘Empowering People with Diabetes – Children, Young People and Emerging Adults’.

Newham has the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in under 25’s in the country. To support young adults with diabetes in the borough, Barts Health NHS Trust which runs Newham University Hospital, supported by the Newham Partnership Programme, has introduced Skype appointments and a peer group support system.

The Skype appointments model was first set up in 2011 in an attempt to break down barriers contributing to poor diabetes self-management. Since its initiation, 480 Skype appointments have been carried out, reducing missed appointments by 16%*. As a result, the scheme has led to cost savings for both the patients and the trust by eliminating the need for patient travel and reducing non-attendance rates and improving diabetes control

The judges of the awards described the Skype clinic as: “A fantastic project with good local context that had a huge local, national and global impact, and is particularly usable for engaging with a younger demographic.”

Speaking about being listed as a finalist for the awards, Desiree Campbell-Richards, research nurse at Newham University Hospital, said: “We are very pleased that this scheme has been recognised in this way. Implementing the Skype appointments has helped us provide flexibility for patients and as a result, many who had disengaged with the clinic are now coming back”

“We set up the peer support groups because patients told us they wanted to meet others in their situation that they could talk to. Both the groups and the Skype appointments have been a major success. Patients tell us they feel more confident about managing their condition and regularly attend check-ups”

Sarah Seaholme, Project Director for the Newham Partnership Programme said: “This is yet another fantastic example of how the programme is supporting providers to roll out new initiatives that can improve health for the population of Newham. The staff at Barts Health NHS Trust have worked very hard to set up this scheme and we are thrilled the QiC have recognised it in this way.”

Read more about the work Newham Partnership Programme on the UCLPartners website.

*based on data from January 2016