North East Essex Diabetes Service scoops national award

Suffolk GP Federation’s North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) has been recognised for its clinical excellence at the recent Quality In Care Diabetes Awards – winning the category for best adult diabetes education programme.

The service was praised for building a robust training programme which has enhanced the multi-disciplinary team working at Colchester Hospital and for achieving clear and rapid improvements in patient safety and wellbeing. You can read more about the project here.

Suffolk GP Federation was also highly commended in the ‘Best Practice and Sustainability’ category for NEEDS’ integrated approach, which has significantly improved patient outcomes.

Judges said: “The North East Essex Diabetes Service has proven to really improve patient care in the area. It is done on a vast scale and working under one budget has enabled the work to be shared and demonstrated savings. It really shows what can be achieved when teams work together.”

The service was also highly commended in the ‘Diabetes Team Initiative of the Year’ category for its Virtual Ward project which is delivered in collaboration with Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) Community Nurses and has helped housebound diabetes patients to better manage their conditions through improving their medication regimes.

Suffolk GP Federation was highly commended in the Best Practice and Dissemination category at the Quality In Care Diabetes Awards. Pictured left to right: Diabetes Nurse Consultant Louise Roberts, Diabetes Specialist Nurse Emma Birbeck, Senior Diabetes Specialist Nurse Ceri Jagger, Director of Community Care Services at Suffolk GP Federation Sheila Smyth, and Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison, Diabetes UK

Adele Holcombe, Diabetes Service Manager at Suffolk GP Federation, said: “We are incredibly proud of all of the NEEDS team and everybody that has been involved with the service. These successes are a perfect example of how a collaborative and integrated approach can lead to improved outcomes to people living with diabetes and impact wider healthcare services across the NHS.”

Lorna Sainsbury, 47, from Mersea Island, a Type 1 diabetes patient with NEEDS, said: “I have attended a couple NEEDS education courses over the past few years, including a DAFNE course and their Diabetes and You event. I have great praise for the service, the workshops have been very useful and always delivered professionally by the team – they have really supported me in managing my diabetes.”

Our healthcare colleagues at East Suffolk and North East NHS Foundation Trust, made up of Ipswich Hospital and Colchester General Hospital, also picked up the award for ‘Best Practice and Sustainability’ for the evolvement and expansion of the Diabetes Inpatient Care and Education Programme (DICE). The Ipswich inpatient diabetes team was also highly commended for its work during Insulin Safety Week.

Professor Gerry Rayman, Consultant Diabetologist at the East Suffolk and North East NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. It recognises the investment, hard work and ongoing innovations that has been delivered by the team to make the care of p with diabetes safer. This could not be achieved without great team work. We are particular proud that our work has inspired other diabetes teams around the country many of whom have adopted our processes and innovations.