Diabetes Services

Diabetes is on the increase in Northern Ireland, as it is worldwide. In the Western Trust there are about 13,000 people with a known diagnosis of diabetes. There are a few types of diabetes. The most common ones are quite different from each other: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. There is a lot of information on the Diabetes UK website - www.diabetes.org.uk - about the forms of diabetes and their management.

Learning to live with diabetes can be challenging and people with any type of diabetes need support. Whether you have just been diagnosed or have had diabetes for some time it is important that you get the right support for managing this condition around your life. Diabetes can lead to other serious medical problems but the majority of people do not develop stroke, blindness, kidney failure or have to have amputations. These terrible complications can be reduced or even prevented with help. Heart disease is much more common than any of these after years of living with diabetes, but that too can be reduced. In fact almost all diabetes complications can be reduced by half by stopping smoking, controlling blood cholesterol and blood pressure with medications, blood thinning agents at times and achieving good control of blood glucose in the long term.

Our role is to help you live with your diabetes, to limit its effect on your quality of life now, to help reduce the risk of its complications and deal with them if they occur.

Support is available from quite a few sources. The diabetes team are based both in the community and in the hospitals. This is important as more than 2/3 of all people with diabetes only use community services. Follow the links to dieticians, diabetes specialist nurses and podiatrists below to find out more. The hospital consultants also communicate directly and give advice to these professionals and to your GP who coordinates your care. Together we form the Diabetes Support Team. The same types of professionals along with the hospital consultants provide outpatient clinics at the hospitals and support people with diabetes while they are in hospital.

Support is also available from this website and other online services. Have a look for Western Trust on Facebook and YouTube and DiabetesWest on Facebook and Twitter. Diabetes UK have an extensive website with lots of useful links and information. They can be found on Facebook and Twitter and at the website www.diabetes.org.uk

More information on our services can be found below by following the links. 




Latest Diabetes News:

Transforming Care in the West – Steady Progress in Integrated Diabetes Care



The four regional themes of Outpatients Reform, Patient Pathways, Acute Hospital Reform and Reablement/Domiciliary Care, continue to be the main priorities for reform within the Western Trust. Through the delivery of targeted projects dedicated to these themes the Trust is making progress in reforming services for the better.

One of the projects that the Trust is making steady progress with is the implementation of Integrated Diabetes Care, which is now a corporate initiative involving cooperation across many services and professional boundaries.  At the heart of the success to date has been a focus on the patient’s pathway and outcomes, a historically strong and growing partnership between secondary and primary clinicians providing care for Diabetes patients, and a strong core project team combining clinical expertise, technical and service knowledge with strategic response to population health outcomes and a philosophy of innovation and collaborative working. 

January 2015 seen the Trust launch an Integrated Care Pathway for Diabetes patients requiring foot care at all levels. This work is being facilitated in partnership with GPs and is enabled by the commissioning of a GP Quality and Productivity Pathway for Diabetic Foot patients.

This pathway involves joint working between GPs, community nursing, Diabetes specialist teams, Allied Health Professionals in primary and secondary care, and specific co-operation between medicine and surgery for patients with Acute Diabetic foot problems. The same philosophy is being applied to several pathways to clarify diagnosis of diabetes and when people can be dealt with in the community and the alternative pathway to specialist care to avoid emergency admission.

Additional pathways guiding management of high and low blood sugars for Emergency Departments and acute medical and surgical units have also been prepared after consultation with the respective professional groups and units.  The Trust takes seriously the need for integrated patient information pathways to support a patient’s journey, and are using the ECR, single point of referral for Diabetes patients with electronic triaging. Other forms of virtual communication between clinicians to support patient care to make sure that the person with a diabetes foot problem sees the right person first time, in the right place and at the right time is also being utilised.

This service redesign is being implemented by Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) in the Western area with the support of, and funding from, the Western Local Commissioning Group. 

The Trust continues to build on the perinatal Diabetes services developed with the support of CAWT under INTERREG IVA, and improve transitions and interfaces with other services to support patients of all ages.  Personalisation in Diabetes care will be a major theme for our work in 2015, building on existing initiatives involving patient-led peer support networks and self-directed support for patients.  The Trust looks forward to the work in 2015, focusing on outpatients, and consolidating expertise for the treatment and management of complex foot problems as a response to the health needs of our border population.