Service innovation to help people live well with diabetes

Summary

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of certifiable sight loss amongst the working age population in the UK. Improving self-management of diabetes and uptake of Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS), eye examinations and attendance at Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) Outpatients clinics is essential to prevent complications such as sight loss. This project, funded by RNIB and the Department of Health, promoted self-management and engagement of friends, family and the wider community to help people live well with diabetes. Low cost interventions included the DRS Service sending a text appointment reminder and a ‘ring and remind’ service in DR Outpatient clinics. Attendance at DRS increased overall by 10%, with those for patients receiving the full suite of interventions up by 15%. 

Challenge

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of certifiable sight loss amongst the working age population in the UK: 7% of all new certificates of vision impairment are due to diabetic eye disease. In collaboration with local communities and health care providers in Bradford, RNIB used a co-production approach to develop a range of interventions to improve self-management, access to services and thereby help reduce avoidable complications. Six per cent of the adult population of the UK are currently diagnosed with diabetes (3.2 million people). This is set to rise to 9.5% of the population by 2030. An estimated 10% of NHS expenditure is spent on tackling diabetes. Living in socio-economic deprivation is closely linked to developing diabetes and people of South Asian ethnicity are up to six times more likely to have the condition compared to the general population.

Objectives

To develop and test interventions to increase access to eye care services for people with diabetes and improve self-management to prevent complications including avoidable sight loss. The key target population was people living with diagnosed diabetes, aged 40 to 65, of Pakistani heritage and living in Keighley, and the aim was to increase uptake of Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS) and eye examinations, and to reduce non-attendance at diabetic retinopathy outpatient clinics.

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QiC Diabetes Winner 2015
Best initiative supporting self-care
Service innovation to help people live well with diabetes
by Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)



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