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GP federation awarded £10m diabetes contract

A group of GP practices has won a £10m contract to provide a full community service for patients with diabetes from April 2014.

The Suffolk GP Federation will collectively provide diabetes screening, training and care for patients with the disease in the community.

This includes a dedicated helpline and mobile dietetic, podiatry and antenatal clinics provided in GP surgeries.

The federation will co-ordinate the provision of the service, which will be carried out by 43 practices in Colchester and Tendring. The federation, a non-profit organisation, will be paid £2m a year to run the service over five years.

Dr Gary Sweeney, chair of the NHS North East Essex CCG said: ‘I am confident that this innovative approach will make the services more convenient.’

Suffolk GP Federation chair Dr Tim Reed, said: ‘We are looking forward to working with local GPs, local hospitals and healthcare professionals to provide a simple-to-access service for all diabetes patients in North East Essex.

‘This will help those living with diabetes to monitor and manage their condition more easily and provide convenient, high quality services and the best possible care in their local community.’

This article was amended at 17:00 on 28/10/13 to reflect that the 43 practices providing the services do not make up the federation.

Readers' comments (21)

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

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  • £2 million per annum split between 43 surgeries is £46.5K each, guaranteed for five years.

    A tidy sum indeed...

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  • Azeem Majeed

    I don't agree with the previous posts. The costs of diabetes are high both in primary care and secondary care. There is also a considerable burden on patients and their carers, as well as a societal cost. I am assuming that a full business case was prepared that makes the clinical and economic case for the new service. I would also hope that the CCG will build in a rigorous evaluation into the new service specification. Some of the key questions that an evaluation of the new service needs to address are whether:

    1. it improves clinical outcomes, patient experience and patients' quality of life;

    2. the service is cost-effective - e.g. are the additional costs in primary care outweighed by reductions in spending on hospital care.

    Prof. Azeem Majeed, Imperial College London, Twitter @Azeem_Majeed

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  • This will pay for doctor and nurse time so that the practice may be able to recruit a specialist nurse. In a practice there are probably enough diabetics to occupy a nurse most of the time.

    If we can give diabetics more time than one annual visit we may be able to prevent more complications.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Interesting.
    It is sensible to say that it is difficult to value this without all the details. But there are a few issues of concern:
    (1) It appears GP confederation is already happening whether you are for or against the idea. It is interesting know exactly the definition of 'confederation' in Suffolk . If this story is really true , the implication could be (I use could be at this stage) the government was only interested in providing 'new' money in GP confederations . CCGs would be coerced to favour them instead.
    (2) We are currently debating the issue of GPs losing independent contractor status. GP confederation could be one of the 'tools' the government would use to impose this change.
    (3) Of course , it is about cost effectiveness and value for money of any service. But these politically correct parameters(obviously you can insist using statistical figures) are so often either ignored or misinterpreted by politicians of any government . You know, I know what they are really caring about instead.
    (4) One can defend the government and say 'stop being so negative about every move made by the government . Look, they have made the economy better based on the GDP figure yesterday. ' Truth is a government cannot stop scepticism from people if it has failed to establish TRUST.

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  • >Evidence from around the country shows that T1s are being denied test strips because their GPs are so poorly trained, they can't don't understand the difference between T1 and T2.
    ---

    That sounds rather surprising. I've never met a doctor that does not know the difference between these. Are you sure it's not the repeat clerk?

    Please post a link to this evidence.

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  • Here's a link to the actual survey carried out by Diabetes UK in March 2013.

    http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Documents/Reports/access-test-strips-report-0813.pdf

    Half the respondents who said they faced restrictions of test strips by GPs were T1s or carers of T1s.

    From the document:

    "CASE STUDY
    Lady, in her mid thirties with two young children,
    diagnosed for less than a year with Type 1 diabetes and working hard to understand and manage her diabetes and the impact on her life.

    Her GP restricted her test strips to three per day and informed her that frequent testing does not lead to better control. She was devastated and frightened about how she will manage, not only her diabetes, but also about the effect this would have on her ability to parent her children."

    CASE STUDY
    "Gentleman aged 65, with Type 1 diabetes, retired but still very active and walks every day to keep fit. He also drives long distances to visit his adult children up and down the country. His GP restricted his test strips to 2–3 per week and stated there is no clinical benefit to testing more than this. He felt that he was being “written off” now that he was retired."

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  • "After Diabetes UK began hearing stories from people with Type 1 diabetes who were only being prescribed limited amounts of test strips by their GPs, the All Party Parliamentary Group for diabetes examined the problem at its most recent meeting.

    Health Minister Anna Soubry MP was present to hear about this recent development which has left some people having to buy their own test strips in order to manage their condition. The Department for Health is now investigating the issue."

    http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Get_involved/Campaigning/Our-work-in-Parliament/

    It's patients going to GPs who are being denied test strips face-to-face by GPs (who are following CCG guidance for T2s but wrongly applying it to T1s because they don't seem to know the difference between T1 and T2).

    There are patients with T1 complaining about this all over social media. It's been taken to parliament.

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  • Bob Hodges

    The plural of 'anecdote' is 'andecotes'.

    This does not equal data.

    Denying T1s test strips is malpractice, and is anything but widespread.

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  • "This does not equal data. "

    Perhaps research methodology is not your strong point.

    The dangerous practise of denying or providing inadequate numbers of test strips is common enough that Diabetes UK are devoting time and campaign money to it and the government is investigating the issue.

    Attitudes like yours that seek to minimise and deny the existence of poor practise and a lack of knowledge among GPs are not helpful to patients.

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