No stranger to Pulse’s Top 50 GPs list, Professor Kamlesh Khunti has long been an authoritative voice for primary care on a number of national diabetes programmes and policies.
A professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at the University of Leicester, this year he has been chairing the NICE programme development group overseeing the development of new guidelines that urge GPs to screen all patients aged 40 or older for diabetes.
Professor Khunti says he is very proud of this role – although he admits the guidelines will be costly to implement:‘The evidence base for prevention is very compelling. If you identify people at high risk and give them lifestyle interventions, you can reduce that risk by 50%.
‘Most modelling shows this is likely to be cost-effective, but the problem is that at the outset it will be very costly for the NHS.’
There are some CCGs forging ahead, but – as with everything – interest is variable, he admits.
As a part-time GP in Leicester, Professor Khunti has been juggling a number of different roles – he has been instrumental in the diabetes lifestyle education programme DESMOND, the NICE-led QOF panel on diabetes work, the RCGP online diabetes audit tool and, more recently, the rollout of the Walking Away from Diabetes programme.
However, he is already looking ahead to the next challenge – how general practice can get to grips with managing patients with multiple morbidities.
He says: ‘This is something we grapple with in general practice every day.
‘At the moment, you could quite easily be referring people to four different clinics, and the difficulty we have is how to co-ordinate that care. That’s the challenge for the future.’