Innovative Newham diabetes programme wins national award recognition

An innovative NHS diabetes programme in Newham has been recognised at a prestigious national diabetes awards.

The Newham Diabetes Transformation Programme supports young people aged 16-25 with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and was highly commended at the 2020 Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards last month.

Newham has a young, diverse population and a rising prevalence of T1D. T1D is a serious and lifelong condition that requires daily management including insulin injections and over time can damage hearts, eyes, feet and kidneys.

The Diabetes Transformation Programme worked to fix gaps in how young people in Newham with T1D were supported, particularly around their mental health needs, education and support for those that needed A&E care.

The programme had to be creative to reach young people and its innovations included developing a youth worker role, a peer support programme and using online consultations for more flexible care.

The programme was delivered by Newham’s diabetes team at Barts Health and supported by NHS Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Newham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

The judges at the Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards said: "Although this project is still in its early stages, it stood out to the judges for the amazing job, demonstrating a positive impact. The vital mental health support and the flexible service with the multidisciplinary teams was very impressive. The judges look forward to seeing this project develop."

Anne Marie Maher-Vyas, Head of Planned - Long Term Conditions at NHS Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Newham CCGs, said: “We are committed to caring for young people with diabetes and we are proud our programme has had a positive impact on the lives of young people.”

Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan, Barts clinical lead for the programme, said: “Our programme highlights the importance in using new technology to address gaps in service and the importance of multidisciplinary teams in supporting people living with Type 1 diabetes.

“We will continue to tackle the complex health and social needs of young people in Newham and are working in a flexible and patient-centred way.”

Selina Douglas, Managing Director for Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest CCGs, said: “We are delighted the programme was recognised and will continue to work to improve the management of people young people living with Type 1 with diabetes. This is an example of where multidisciplinary teams and cross organisational working has a real impact on the outcomes for people living with Type 1 diabetes”

“It is vital we continue to work with young people in this way with a range of long-term conditions.”