Exclusive: Care plan to cut diabetes workload

Year of Care project aims to cut follow-up appointments through better review.

GPs could cut follow-up app­ointments with diabetes patients by focusing on care planning in annual reviews, the former DoH diabetes czar has said.

Around half of all consultations for patients with diabetes could do more to support their long-term management needs, according to Dr Sue Roberts.

The former czar believes that the launch of Diabetes UK’s Year of Care project could help to revolutionise the way GPs treat diabetic patients.

The Year of Care project is designed to empower diabetics though greater choice and involvement, enhancing self-management and improving health outcomes. It aims to change the annual review discussion from a ‘tick-box exercise’ into a care planning discussion.

So far three pilot sites have been developed in Calderdale and Kirklees PCT, North of Tyne PCT and Tower Hamlets PCT.

Dr Roberts, chairwoman of Year of Care, told GP: ‘Patients have told us that they are not receiving the care they need. The Year of Care project will benefit both the patient and the GP.

‘There is every reason to believe that the project will produce more productive consultations, which will result in less follow-up for the GPs.’

The feedback from GPs in the early pilots in practices in Northumbria has been so good that the GPs have spread news by word of mouth to 44 more practices that are keen to take part in the project, said Dr Roberts.

Speaking at the Year of Care conference in London last week, Dr David Colin-Thomé, chairman of the long-term conditions board at the DoH, said there was ‘nothing to stop’ PCTs funding it as a local enhanced service.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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