Hospital doctors and patients call for better diabetes service

Diabetes patients and consultants at Warwick Hospital are calling on the county's health authority to improve services.

Members of the South Warwickshire Diabetes UK support group have written to Warwickshire Primary Care Trust asking for a public consultation. They are unhappy with the way the service is run and want more involvement to ensure patients’ needs are met.

Group chairman David Gent said: “Patients are not getting the services they deserve. Every patient with diabetes should go on an educational course when they are newly diagnosed. The trust ran them for about a year and we gave 5,000 towards materials, but they have been inexplicably withdrawn.

“We are asking for a public consultation because NHS policy gives patients the right to have their needs and views listened to.”

One diabetes sufferer who thinks the service needs improving is 23-year-old Carla Wolsey from Leamington who was diagnosed in 2003.

She said: “I was under the care of my GP at Lisle Court Medical Centre in Leamington, but he was off sick quite a lot and when there was no one to look after me I ran into trouble.

“I was forever in and out of the A & E department at Warwick Hospital.

“It’s only since the beginning of March this year that I have had an appointment with a consultant. I was given tablets to control my diabetes then one injection of insulin a day.

“But it has turned out to be more serious than they thought and I’m now on four injections a day.

“I think that everyone who is diagnosed with diabetes should be referred to a consultant at first. I don’t have a problem with being treated at a surgery but there should be a back-up plan if something goes wrong.”

Miss Wolsey’s consultant at Warwick Hospital is Dr Shirine Boardman. She and her colleagues are backing the call for a public consultation.

She said: “We would like more specialist services in the community and to be working more closely with the GPs and patients. The more dialogue we have the faster things can improve.

“The problem is that with diabetes the treatments are improving so rapidly, something that was the best treatment five years ago is now inappropriate.

“We need to develop ways of sharing this information by going into practices and having easy access to GPs and practice nurses. I want to see a big consultation to hear what patients want. I know the NHS can’t afford everything, but it would be good if we could come up with two or three things that could really transform the service.”

Lisle Court practice manager Keith Powell said: “We take pride in the high level care offered to our diabetic patients. All doctors and nurses offer excellent diabetes care ensuring continuity is maintained when clinical staff are absent due to holidays or sickness.

“We run monthly audits of our patient records to ensure diabetes is being controlled. The practice exceeds the target range for diabetes care set by the Department of Health and General Practice Committee by 50 per cent.

“All of the practice doctors and nurses have invested considerable time in the care of this patient. She has never voiced any concern to us at the practice.

“We would be happy to discuss her concerns at the surgery.”