October 16's Minutes

October’s Minutes

Octobers meeting saw us welcome Dai Williams, Director of Diabetes UK Cymru.

Dai has personal experience of living with diabetes when his son was diagnosed with Type 1 and his wife now lives with type 2, who better to have someone figure-heading an organization such as Diabetes UK Cymru than someone with personal experience. Before coming to Diabetes UK Dai was the head of Education at the BBC in Cardiff.

When Dai came to the Wales office there was no stratagising for diabetes in Wales. The welsh government were spending half a million pound a year on treating the complications of diabetes. Dai and his “policy man” Jason (Who is in fact Deputy Director of Diabetes UK Cymru), started talking with the Welsh Government that the strategy in place was not working. GP’s and Consultants communications were not getting the message out. This lead to the formation of the Health and Social Care Committee, who with support from Diabetes UK Cymru and Dai were given the “eye opener” of the figures of people with diabetes in Wales, which also included 70,000 people who were living with diabetes and didn’t even know it. Appointed to the Health and Social Care Committee was a professor of Social Science, Professor Mark Drayford, and his deputy Vaughn Gethin. Half way through the formation of an all wales strategy for Diabetes Mark was appointed the Health Minister for Wales, someone who understood the need to get the message of diabetes out.

He saw to it that a Diabetes Delivery Plan was formulated to help and advise on key issues relating to diabetes such as the need to structured education, he hit on the plan that if people were more aware of living well with diabetes then better awareness may lead to less complications, which in the long run could save part of the health budget.

Diabetes has been appointed a clinical lead in Wales in Dr Juliet Platt, and an IT system to measure and map diabetes care and education.

The IT system is designed to link the GP systems to the Hospital systems so, in theory, either could look at your current notes and be immediately brought up to date with your health care. The basis of care and care plans all linked for a more rounded plan. It is something that is being worked on at the moment, so hopefully we should see the benefits of this in the near future.

NHS England are working to have the resources up front to prevent complications and so far, Wales is ahead of England in working with the GP’s.

The Welsh Government gave the Diabetes Delivery Plan a £1 million a year injection of funds £100,00 a year of which is currently going into the IT systems.

The money into the IT system is to use it effectively and smartly to draw out the people with diabetes that are falling through the net, those who haven’t visited the GP for their annual checkup or their retinopathy appointment etc.

The key message here is that “Education is key”.

Patient empowerment, telling you what you should be getting so you can question the doctor if you are not getting it.

After 10 years of this strategy in place only 1% are getting structured education, the X-pert course, DAFNE, the old DESMOND course.

So how to target the people who need this, the idea was to “grease the palms of GPs with silver!!” There is no firm referral it is just enough to mention there is a course, this explains the 1% take up in structured education.

As a result of this, the idea to educate and motivate people with diabetes is to enthuse through media. Professors Jeff Stevens and Sam Rice devised a program of a series of films about diabetes called Pocket Medic which can be prescribed by healthcare professionals, (these films do not just cover diabetes it also covers COPD, heart conditions, stroke etc). There are 28 films relating to diabetes.

New resources are available in the form of pocket medic films and also information prescriptions which should be available from GP’s.

These things can be asked for by you, and could form part of your care plan.