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Better, sooner, more convenient diabetes care

Better, sooner, more convenient diabetes care

People with diabetes are receiving better, sooner and more convenient care thanks to a Nursing Practice Partnership (NPP) between primary health organisations and Capital & Coast DHB.

The NPP model pairs the expertise of hospital-based diabetes nurse specialists with practice nurses in the GP setting, enabling them to manage patients’ care closer to home.

Building on work developed by the Newtown Medical Centre, and the Newtown and Porirua Union Health services, Karori Medical Centre (KMC) has been trialling
the model since May 2012. Of the 55 patients who took part in the pilot, nearly 80 percent have dropped their HBA1C glucose levels to a more manageable level, GP Dr Jeff Lowe says.

Having a lower HBA1C level means patients are at less risk of micro vascular complications such as impaired vision, kidney problems, ulcers, and lower limb
amputations.

“It’s about using the nursing workforce in a different way. We’re not talking primary diabetes care or secondary diabetes care, just diabetes care. We believe that’s the future,” Dr Lowe says.

KMC practice nurse Jacqui Levine says the opportunity to work with CCDHB diabetes nurse specialist Lorna Bingham “has certainly increased my confidence in working with patients with diabetes. Lorna has given us a lot of skills and knowledge”.

Managing patients in the community provides continuity of care for patients and
staff alike, says practice nurse Heather Wilson.

“It means knowing the patient, knowing where they’re at, and working with them to get their diabetes under control. It’s having the opportunity to ring them up if they haven’t had their blood test done, so we are keeping in touch.”

Patient Chris Ward, who was able to start insulin medication in the community
rather than the hospital during the pilot, says the partnership is “brilliant”.

“Starting Insulin was something I was concerned about but I learnt how to do it all [at KMC]. Now I can deliver the injection myself and it’s just a quick phone call to Heather if I have a problem. I feel more in control now,” Mr Ward says.

Mr Ward says knowing that he can contact Heather at any time means that he feels more confident managing his diabetes.

More than 243,000 Kiwis have been diagnosed with some form of Diabetes, and
22,593 of those live within the greater Wellington region of Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa districts.

CCDHB is currently rolling out this model of care to a further 15 General Practices to provide better support for people with diabetes.

Ends

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