Almost £600,000 worth of funding awarded to help tackle diabetes in Norfolk and Waveney

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital diabetes consultants Prof Mike Sampson. Photo by Simon Finla

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital diabetes consultants Prof Mike Sampson. Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Funding worth almost £600,000 has been awarded to improve services for people with diabetes living in Norfolk and Waveney.

The funding from NHS England will be used to support educational programmes and to provide new models of integrated diabetes care.

Professor Mike Sampson, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital consultant in diabetes and endocrinology, said: 'Diabetes is a complex and challenging condition for which people need the skills and confidence to cope with the daily demands of self-management.

'Diabetes education is key to successful day-to-day diabetes management and can be life-changing for people with diabetes.

There is also a real need for better integrated working between all elements of the service.'

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The funding will be split between two projects with £274,000 used to improve the uptake of structured education and £315,000 to help achieve the recommended treatment targets and develop new service models for care.

Among the issues facing people in the region is that the county is predominantly rural and services tend to be far spread.

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Norfolk and Waveney predominantly has an older population which presents issues with mobility and raises the need for bespoke education.

One of the key principles of use of the funding was that it is expected to generate savings through reduction in the rate of complications and other deterioration.

Dr Tony Palframan, GP and GP educator at Heathgate Medical Practice is leading a review on diabetes in South Norfolk. He said: 'This investment will make a fantastic difference to diabetes care through improved education and is a great example of how organisations can work together to benefit patients.'

It is estimated that within the Norfolk and Waveney, some 79,354 people aged over 16 live with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes.

This figure is predicted to rise to 83,687 by 2030.

The high prevalence of diabetes relates to the local demography, with a large population of older people.

In Norfolk, diabetes care is one of the key long-term conditions where demand is rising significantly due to the ageing population and increase in obesity (numbers expected to rise by 9000 by 2025).

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