27 Jun, 13 | by Dr Dean Jenkins
Yesterday at BMA House, the team from BMJ Informatica hosted a day dedicated to diabetes. It asked the question “How can we prevent diabetes from bankrupting the NHS?“.
The audience consisted of doctors and pharmacists involved with the commissioning of diabetes care. There was a lively discussion on the challenges that diabetes, and obesity, present to the health service. The debate was informed by the a research update on screening and risk scores from Dr David Webb at the University of Leicester, the use of routine clinical data and risk scores from Dr Pete Green from Medway CCG, and an international perspective from Professor Henk Bilo of the Netherlands. There was also a presentation from Professor Kilm McPherson looking at updated models of future obesity rates, John Stewart describing the NHS Outcomes Frameworks, and Professor Stephen Bloom looking at the future therapeutic trends in the management of obesity.
The meeting was chaired by Professor Sir Charles George and myself. Although we didn’t come to any simple answer, plenty of interesting ideas shared. Prioritising patient reviews, using data to focus resources, virtual clinics, the efficient division of labour between primary and secondary care, strategies for local negotiation and methods for overcoming various forms of stakeholder resistance were all explored.
What I found the most fascinating was the data analysis that Paul Barbour from BMJ Informatica had prepared. Each delegate had an estimated prevalence and cost summary for their CCG derived from various data sources. There was also a screen with a Google Map of the UK overlaid with every GP practice so that the number of QOF-registered people with Type 2 Diabetes could be compared with the risk-score estimate of prevalence. The data made for a great focus of discussion when displayed on a large screen.