Milton Keynes diabetes service recognised at awards

Tuesday, 17th December, 2019

A service in Milton Keynes which has helped to reduce diabetes-related lower limb amputations has been recognised in national awards shortlist.

Milton Keynes CCG and Milton Keynes University Hospital teamed up in 2015 to set up a multi-disciplinary foot service as one-stop-shop for patients with diabetic foot disease, with the aim of bringing together foot experts from different disciplines to provide a more holistic approach to care.

Figures released in 2019 reported that Milton Keynes has seen a dramatic decrease in minor lower limb amputations caused by diabetes while national figures have continued to rise over the last three years.

With the foot service to thank for improving the outcomes of local people with diabetes, the team were recognised at the prestigious HSJ Awards in November 2019 after making the shortlist in the Acute or Specialist Service Redesign Initiative category. Unfortunately, the service didn’t win on the night but the team added the accolade to a growing number of credits in the last three years, including a team of the year award from Milton Keynes University Hospital and a successful peer review from NHS England.

Dr Nicola Smith, local GP and Chair of NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said: “One of the more distressing consequences of diabetes is lower limb amputations.  It is great news to see the hard work going on in Milton Keynes to reverse the national trend being recognised.

“As commissioners of local health services, we are always looking at ways to work with our local partners to improve the care our patients receive and where necessary introduce changes to stop patients getting further complications from their conditions.”

The Milton Keynes Integrated Diabetes Service is another successful local diabetes programme which has seen health commissioners and providers working together to make specialist diabetes care more accessible in a community setting.  The service operates specialist consultant and nurse clinics at Willen Surgery, Milton Keynes as well as education workshops and virtual clinics. Referrals into the service come from a variety of sources ranging from GP Practices via the Referral Management System, directly from Milton Keynes Hospital, community nursing teams, nursing homes and Willen Hospice.

Feedback from patients has been very positive so far and their outcomes have improved with increased access to help, advice and support.

The collaborative approach to improving diabetes services for local people has not just been confined to Milton Keynes. Recently, the ‘Healthier You’ diabetes service was developed to deliver care to people across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) in response to the National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP). A new service provider, ICS Health and Wellbeing, were commissioned to deliver the ‘Healthier You’ diabetes prevention services from summer 2019. The improved service enables people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to access a course of diabetes prevention services either in person or online. The service can be accessed via referral by GP, nurse or NHS health check professional.

Partnership working between commissioners, health and care providers and local authorities for all facets of health and care is taking place all across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) through the work of the Integrated Care System (ICS) which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of local people now and in the future.

For further information about other innovations benefitting people in your area, visit the BLMK ICS website: blmkpartnership.co.uk.