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Working together for gold standard care for diabetes patients

People with diabetes in West Berkshire receive gold standard care because health professionals work together to provide an excellent service.

Speaking at "Sharing Best Practice and Making it Work" an event held at Easthampstead House, Wokingham, Dr Richard Croft, GP diabetes lead in Berkshire West explained how diabetes services in the area had developed.

He said: "It started with a clear realisation that it was essential to do better and the only way to do this was by working together and making gold-standard services available to patients, and increasing levels of understanding about diabetes amongst doctors and nurses."

He followed Dr Garry Tan, a Consultant from Oxford to the podium who had described a model of diabetes care where GPs, nurses, hospital specialists, podiatrists, dieticians, diabetes specialist nurses all work together, motivated by the same aim to provide excellent care to those affected by diabetes.

Seventy doctors, nurses, public health leaders and others heard presentations and discussed how to use 'best practice' in diabetes care.

They heard from Asmat Nisa, Consultant in Public Health in Reading, that Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire had a lower proportion of people with diabetes (around 4%) in the population than in East Berkshire – especially than Slough, where there are nearly double the proportion of people with diabetes (almost 8%). However, the number of people with diabetes is increasing steadily in both areas, driven by rising levels of obesity and less physical activity.

She said: "There is an urgent need to act as diabetes causes major problems later in life – including heart disease, stroke, amputation, kidney failure and blindness."

Jennifer Ackroyd, a local diabetes patient and chair of a patient group, gave a personal account of what it felt like to have diabetes and emphasised the importance of the 'personal touch' from her hospital consultant, a dedicated nurse, and her GP. For her, information in a simple format was key.

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