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Diabetes Centre improving patient care and outcomes less than a year after opening

The Diabetes Centre at Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) is already achieving a key goal of improved patient care and outcomes, less than a year after being officially opened.

Missed appointments known as ‘did not attends’ (DNAs) at the young adults clinics for type 1 diabetes have been reduced significantly following the opening of the clinic. The bi-monthly clinics are now held in early evenings, to avoid clashes with schooling, in an age-appropriate environment, allowing the DNAs to be reduced by 66%. This saw DNAs fall from nine, in the three months prior to the Diabetes Centre opening, to four DNAs in the three most recent months.


The integrated facilities at the Diabetes Centre have also allowed for better patient experience, with combined insulin pump training sessions ensuring that diabetes education can be delivered in a cost and time-effective manner.


The centre, which was inspired by a patient story at a Board of Directors meeting, is now providing specialist outpatient services for people living with Diabetes in North Lancashire after works on the former Coronary Care Unit in Med Unit 1 began in June 2015 to transform diabetic services at RLI.


UHMBT approved an investment of £75,000 towards the project in 2015, with further fundraising efforts assisted by the then serving Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Robert Redfern who has raised nearly £16,000 for the Diabetes Centre with the support of Bay Hospitals Charity. The centre is supporting the education of staff and patients on self-care.


Bay Hospitals Charity is a registered charity that raises funds to support University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust.  Donations received provide those little extras that help make the hospital experience better, funding things outside of the scope of the NHS.  It is the generosity of local communities that enables the charity to enhance and support the hospitals across Morecambe Bay and the lives of the 365,000 people that live here.


Commenting on progress since the opening, Dr Paul Smith, Clinical Lead for Diabetes and Endocrinology at UHMBT, said: “I am delighted that patients are now benefiting from this excellent new facility. The diabetes centre has already allowed us to increase clinic capacity to reduce waiting times for appointments."

Speaking about the first year of success, Deborah Slater, Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Royal Lancaster Infirmary said: “We moved all our general diabetes and endocrinology out-patient activity to the centre from the 3 July 2017 and in the months from July to November we have had close to 2000 patients through the doors.  


“On the 1 December we held our first insulin pump training session for patients which was a huge success. Insulin pumps are primarily used when a patient with type one diabetes has difficulty managing their diabetes effectively through multiple daily injections.


“One of our aims for next year is to engage with local user groups who would like to use the centre for their meetings and education. We also plan to engage with local health promotion professionals, such as smoking cessation advisors, weight management and healthy eating groups.


“We have achieved what we set out do with the Diabetes Centre as it allows multi-professional working, and this sees doctors, specialist nurses and dieticians all working together.”


Hazel Morbey, diabetes patient at Royal Lancaster Infirmary said: “Few organisations are as complicated as the NHS to understand and navigate, so for patients, a ‘one-stop-shop’ like the Diabetes Centre just makes sense.


“Having staff all in one place means not getting lost trying to access health professionals and services that are in different departments and locations.


“When health practitioners can work more closely together there is more consistency to our care. A Diabetes Centre provides easier access to information and education and in this environment professionals and patients can find new ways of working together.”

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