HEALTH bosses aim to cut waiting times for diabetics in South Tyneside with a new service.
The new programme is designed to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes are seen swiftly by the most appropriate heathcare professionals.
Five clinics will soon be held at Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre, South Shields. Three will be run by Dr Colin Bradshaw, who has an interest in the disease, and the other two by diabetes specialist nurses.
People with routine Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, will continue to be managed by their regular GP, but those who require specialist input can now be seen at the Prince Edward Road site.
Dr Bradshaw said: “For the last 20 years, South Tyneside has been at the forefront of developing diabetes care and this is another example of the local innovative approach.
“Our ambition is to get the patients to the person with the appropriate skills faster than anywhere else in the country.”
Figures in South Tyneside Council’s joint strategic needs assessment for 2011-12 show that there are more than 7,800 people over 16 who have been diagnosed with diabetes. However, it is thought the true total is more likely to be 9,700, and this is expected to rise to 13,300 by 2020.
The service has been developed by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.
Consultant Dr Jeevan Mettayil said: “As the number of people diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise at an alarming rate, diabetes services in primary and secondary care are under increasing pressure to continue to deliver high quality care.
“These pressures challenge the traditional models of diabetes care, which is why we have introduced our new intermediate service.
“This will cut waiting times because routine patients will not be referred into the hospital system, freeing up resources there so patients with more urgent, specialised needs can be seen and reviewed more promptly. This innovation is about patients seeing the right healthcare professional at the right time, and in the right place.”