National spotlight falls on local diabetes and heart campaigns

Two innovative local health projects have been shortlisted for a major national healthcare award.

Bradford Beating Diabetes and Bradford’s Healthy Hearts have so far identified and treated thousands of people with, or at risk of, diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

And now the two projects have been shortlisted for the 2015 primary care innovation award by the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

Bradford’s biggest killer is cardiovascular disease (CVD) – a collection of conditions (such as stroke, atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease and heart failure) which affect the heart and blood vessels.

Set up in response to this health need, Bradford’s Healthy Hearts’ (BHH) aim is, by 2020, to reduce the number of people in Bradford dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by a minimum of 10%, including 150 strokes and 350 heart attacks.

To date, the BHH team has worked with doctors and patients from GP practices in Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and is shortly to roll out the project in Bradford City CCG.  The project includes strong links with local hospital consultants and community pharmacies.

By identifying people most at risk of CVD, practices have improved their treatment of over 5000 people by changing their prescriptions to more effective cholesterol lowering medication (statin), and putting 700 new patients onto an oral anticoagulant, such as Warfarin.  Around 900 new patients at risk of CVD have been started on a statin and more than 1000 new patients have been identified, and treated for, high blood pressure.

There are over 8,300 registered diabetic patients in the Bradford City area with an additional 8,700 people known to be at moderate or high risk of developing the most common type of diabetes: Type 2. There are potentially a further 29,000 people still at risk of developing diabetes.

Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) is already one of seven national demonstrator sites for the national Diabetes Prevention Programme, sharing its expertise with other areas in the country.  Set up in the Bradford City CCG area, BBD aims to identify people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes and reduce significantly the number of people developing diabetes in future.  BBD is now also being rolled out in Bradford Districts CCG’s area.

And since the campaign got underway in 2013, there are now around 1,000 newly-diagnosed patients in the city.  Over 12,000 people have completed the Diabetes UK risk assessment and received lifestyle advice, whilst 6000 have received a lifestyle intervention at their GP practice.  And around 800 people have been referred to the campaign’s intensive lifestyle change programme (ILCP).

The BBD team has also put together a “nine care passport” for patients to keep a record of their vital diabetes health checks.  By focusing on the checks, the total number of diabetic patients receiving all nine key checks to manage their condition and keep them healthy has increased from 40% to 64%.

Dr Chris Harris, long-term conditions lead for Bradford Districts CCG, said:  “We are immensely proud that the success of Bradford’s Healthy Hearts has been recognised.  Working closely with hospital consultants and other health professionals, GPs in Bradford are pulling out all the stops to reduce the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease.  We are confident that Bradford’s Healthy Hearts is leading the way in the prevention, diagnosis and care of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Sohail Abbas GP, one of the clinicians leading the Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign, and a member of Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Having already been chosen as one of the seven innovative “demonstrator” sites in the country, we are thrilled that our work is also being recognised in the Health Service Journal awards.

“The Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign is proactive about diabetes prevention and in the diagnosis and care of diabetes.  Since 2013 we have made huge inroads into the numbers of people in Bradford who were unaware that they had, and were not being treated for, Type 2 diabetes.

The two local campaigns will lock heads with each other, and other shortlisted projects, in London on 9 October.  The HSJ awards will be presented on 18 November 2015.