Focus on the interaction between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes in accessing vital services
Importance of communication between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes
To improve uptake, they needed to consider how healthcare professionals in primary care communicate with patients on the subject of structured diabetes education. The attitude of the healthcare professional is key. Many of the non-attenders had a lack of information or a poor perceived benefit of the programme whilst many of the attenders have received positive messaging from their healthcare team.
The team also looked at how to improve the lives of young people with type 1 diabetes - with their Youth Empowerment Skills initiative. This demonstrated that this group wanted to learn more about their general health, how to adapt to a life with type 1 diabetes and how to communicate with friends and families about heir condition. They wanted to learn from and listen to other young people with type 1 diabetes, but definitely not in a hospital setting!
The results demonstrated the success of undertaking this course – in the year subsequent to participating in this course, HbA1c levels were decreased, as were hospital admissions for hypoglycaemia or for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Dr Badusev then switched focus to talk about the changing workforce in primary care.
According to the National GP Worklife Survey, two out of every five GPs intend to quit in the next five years. And whilst the number of GPs fell by 1.6% over the 12 months to September 2018, other direct care staff working in general practice such as dispensers, pharmacists, phlebotomists, and healthcare assistants rose by 5.5% pointing to a change in the mix of staff working in general practice. The healthcare service in England currently has more than 2,500 less full-time equivalent GPs than it needs.
Dr Badusev ends his wide-ranging talk with a look back in history to Elliott Joslin’s seminal paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association The prevention of diabetes mellitus, published in 1921.
Dr Badusev concluded: “We need to be mindful of maintaining some traditions. Not least because diabetes will always be a personal experience for everyone who has it so perhaps some things like patient centred care, continuity of care, and the high quality doctor-patient relationship are just as important now as they have ever been”.
Diabetes research will change and improve
In this 100th anniversary year since the discovery of insulin, it is a fitting end to the first week of the conference. Yes, things will change, and things will improve. New ways of working will come and go. Electronic records and big data, along with revolutions in genomic medicine and new clinical trials outcomes will allow healthcare teams to deliver treatment more effectively and in a timelier manner but some things will not change, and patient centred care, continuity of care, and the high-quality doctor-patient relationship will remain just that – as important now as they have ever been.