Thursday, September 22, 2016

The beginning?




I did an "update" style blog about 1 month ago regards my national role…"Where We At"- and promised an update in about 3 months- but I might have underestimated a bit the pace at which some things have been moving! I know, I know…I am acutely aware of whats happening in the NHS…junior doctors, STP plans, disputes, 4 hour targets, Vanguards, anger…all of it- I work, you know? Haven't given up anything in mu day job- so acutely aware of all the issues- but its just been a delightful month as regards diabetes.
Yes, I know its a narrow view- but hey-its my passion to improve that sector of care- so bear with me, ok?

So what have we had? Well, lets start with the website, shall we? A curated information portal for anyone with Type 1 diabetes- a wonderful, amazing piece of work driven by some super folks- the brainchild of Sophie and Mike- helped by Pratik & Laura- along with support from so many- what a spectacular piece of work it has been. Much to be admired, much to learn from- folks- I am so happy that we kickstarted this. As part of this, meeting the folks who have helped with Digibete..wow, what amazing stuff indeed.

And the comic book- dear Lordy- cant wait for its launch- it is SPECTACULAR- if I may say so. The 4 folks who have helped create it- more to be revealed later- but I genuinely hope it does become a source of funned inspiration for many- just so glad its complete.
Then we are on the verge of declaring the date for the next edition of TAD - remember the last one? Oh the Type 1 diabetes pathway is also ready- just a final tweaks- and many many thanks to all those who have helped so far (you super folks of the London network, Diabetes UK, ABCD and all those who came to #talkT1)…I hope you can see why I am just so delighted? And I know some think these are gimmicky and don't contribute much- well, I disagree- ladies and gentlemen, every little bit of support we can create? All of it helps.
Nestled in there has been the launch of an online education programme for Type 1 diabetes (BERTIE)- led by the Bournemouth team. Evidence based? Not yet. But hey, when folks are not going to any of the evidence backed programmes, then maybe its time to upgrade ourselves to the 21st century- and try something different- yup? Time and evidence will tell where it sits- but I like it- I like the effort- and would encourage all to back it with optimism- albeit with a cautious one.

And finally to the big one. And it does come down to it- yes, money. NHS England have just declared their plans and funding etc for next few years- and there are 5 areas which have additional funding- and its such a delight to see diabetes amongst them.
Kudos to Jonathan Valabhji- the quiet man always speaks the loudest- and for me, working with him has been nothing but an absolute pleasure- we are chalk and cheese as someone said- I would rather go for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid…far more catchy-I reckon!

Beyond the National Diabetes Prevention programme- 4 key areas will be ones to tackle and prioritise- improved uptake of structured education; improving inpatient diabetes (that pesky insulin errors!); improving foot care and finally, tackling variation. 40 million pounds to do it. Enough? We shall see. More than what has been norm or most other areas? Yes. And frankly- now its up to diabetes leaders to earn their corn. You wanted ammo- here you are. Go engage with your CCG, Vanguard, STP and come up with plans to improve those areas of priority . We would want insulin errors to be a relic of the past, we want amputation rates to be the lowest- go and do it.



In the midst of all the cacophony, diabetes has a chance. And its now. Don't lose the chance. If you are someone who lives with it, are a carer, works with folks who have it, passionate about it..come together and lets get this done. There are many more strands of good news potentially in the pipeline  ( a possible e-diabetes passport; CGM; expansion of NightScout as a few teasers!) but for now, its time to get up and get things better.

Let this be the beginning of something special.The chance is there- lets not let it slip.

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