Diabetes patients get passport to improved health

[caption id="attachment_2292" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Dr Adeel Iqbal discusses the new passport with patient Roxanna Rashid."][/caption]

People with diabetes in Bradford city are being given a passport to helping them improve their health and making sure they get good quality care to manage their condition.

The new passports will give each patient a personal record of when nine key annual health checks are carried out at their GP practice.

The tests – recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) - are important markers which help to assess whether diabetes is well controlled, and are designed to prevent long-term complications such as amputation, blindness and kidney failure.

NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made diabetes care and prevention a priority and is working closely with local GP practices to raise awareness of the importance of the tests and help them provide high quality care for over 8,000 people with diabetes.

Doctors in the city area are committed to increasing the number of diabetic patients who receive all the checks – and the local figures are good compared to many areas of the country.

Last May only 40% of patients with diabetes were receiving the tests but now almost 65% of patients are having a full annual review. The number of patients has also risen this year as the Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) campaign has led to almost 600 new people being diagnosed and getting the care they need.

Dr Adeel Iqbal, GP lead for long-term conditions at Bradford City CCG, said: “It’s so important for patients with diabetes to keep up-to-date with these health checks as they can help them to manage their diabetes, stay well and prevent serious complications developing.

“People with diabetes in Bradford city can be confident they are getting good quality care and the passports will help us encourage even more patients to be aware of the checks and make sure they are receiving all of them each year.”

The nine key tests include: weight, blood pressure, smoking status, blood glucose levels, kidney function, cholesterol, eye examinations and foot examinations. If left unchecked, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.

The CCG has involved practices in developing new ways of identifying whether patients are having the nine tests at their annual check-up and helping to make it easier to get them all completed.

This has led to healthcare assistants being trained to do low risk foot assessments in the practice, so the test can be done quicker. Many practices are also being proactive in reminding patients to attend their annual review by phoning or texting them.

The passports are an extra aid for patients to understand what the checks are for and know when their next ones are due.

The Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign was launched by Bradford City CCG in 2013 and aims to raise awareness of the disease and prevent people from developing it.

As a result, more people with diabetes have been identified, and other people who are known to be at high risk of developing diabetes have received letters from their GPs inviting them to attend an appointment for a blood test to better understand their risk and to find out what support can be offered to help prevent it.

A second batch of letters is due to go out shortly to invite even more people for GP appointments.

If assessed as being at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, these people will be invited to attend Intensive Lifestyle Change Programme (ILCP) sessions, where they will learn about healthy eating, reducing weight and exercise.

The big screen in Bradford’s City Park will be showing a series of messages throughout August. The messages, in eight different languages, will coincide with the sending out of letters from GPs to patients who are at risk of diabetes.