Exclusive GP practices will be asked to spend more ‘dedicated time’ with patients with type 2 diabetes under NHS England’s £44m programme to improve care of the condition, Pulse can reveal.
NHS England will launch schemes to increase the number of GPSIs working in diabetes management and provide funding to enable practices to hire more specialist nurses, funded by the £44m funding pot announced last year to improve treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, first outlined in planning guidance last September.
Its associate clinical director for diabetes, Dr Partha Kar, a consultant in diabetes and endocrinology, told Pulse the funding is likely to see practices offer ‘more dedicated GP time’ on their patients, which could include getting GPSIs in diabetes to run more sessions, as well as employing extra nurses.
The funding plans, which are currently being rubber stamped by NHS England, are aimed at getting more practices to meet NICE-recommended goals on care for people with type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing variations in care for diabetes across CCGs.
Dr Kar said that the drive was to improve care for ‘existing patients that practices don’t have the staff to look after, because people are swamped’.
In addition, CCGs will get money to boost the amount of structured diabetes education programmes they provide to patients through GP practices – which Dr Kar said would mean training up ‘more nurses and educators in primary care’.
Other streams of work to be given extra money out of the funding available for 2017/18 include the expansion of both multi-disciplinary footcare teams and diabetic inpatient nursing services.
Dr Kar would not be drawn on how much of the £44m will be put into general practice, but told Pulse: ‘What we’re trying to avoid is CCGs turning round saying “we are just going to give it to hospitals”.
‘In the past all the money has gone to specialist teams, so what we’re trying to do is say, if you want to improve variations in care you need to put the money into primary care.’
The £44m fund is part of a wider programme of work to get CCGs to up their game on diabetes management, which will also see the development of ‘NHS Right Care’ programmes that are promoting ‘optimal diabetes pathways’.
These models involve GPs taking on more specialist care for patients in the community – such as in the Portsmouth “Super Six” model, where nearly half of patients with diabetes under care of hospitals were discharged to GP practices.
Dr Kar said the Right Care models should be announced in ‘mid-March or early April’.
It comes as Pulse reported earlier this week that health chiefs are having to rethink the strategy of its flagship national diabetes prevention programme to increase numbers taking part in the scheme, amid signs the national roll-out is faltering.