Big news this week for commissioners - NHS England has just published the long-awaited guidance on how to bid for the £40m Diabetes Transformation Fund (DTF).
Although this is undoubtedly a big opportunity for commissioners, expectations that digital bids for the £10m allocated to improve uptake of structured education would be welcome have not been met. Further guidance on NHS England's digital strategy is eagerly awaited and is expected in the next few months.
While we wait for a clear steer, Changing Health is working with commissioners and providers to collect the field outcome data to underpin our academically evidence-based programme.
Recently developed by Newcastle University and the local NHS Hospital Trust, Changing Health offers the first evidence-based enhanced service for people with Type 2 diabetes. It enables behaviour change through digitally accessed NICE accredited patient education, which is integrated with evidence-based support tools and personalised telephone coaching. Changing Health's method is proven through NIHR and MRC funded research to reduce weight and HbA1c.
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As we already know, the diabetes challenge is huge, but the potential reward in terms of improved outcomes for patients and reduced burden on health services could be transformational with the right approach. Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew said in the organisation’s 2016 State of the Nation report that “Diabetes is a crisis for the health of the nation”. This view is echoed by the Public Accounts Committee, which has also highlighted the unacceptable variation in the quality of care. Meanwhile, the International Diabetes Foundation's annual Diabetes Atlas forecasts global prevalence will rise by 55% by 2040.
Just three per cent of people with diabetes attend existing programmes each year, according to the National Diabetes Audit, despite growing levels of referral. As a result the APPG, DUK and others have found that many healthcare professionals have lost faith in education service provision, often because they face lengthy waiting lists and low attendance among referred patients. The Changing Health model offers the potential to address this gap. It has been shown that web-based programmes can bring a significant boost to uptake as time and location barriers are removed. Our patients can access material and speak to their coach immediately following referral.
Commissioners working with Changing Health will be able to offer patients digital access to the only Type 2 diabetes education programme proven to have clinically meaningful impact, X-PERT, available 24/7, together with personalised coaching for a year, all for a price less than the cost of attending a face to face course. The programme is embedded with personalised 121 coaching over the telephone and via messaging, solely using evidence based techniques which guide patients on their journey to improved health outcomes and, in their terms, look better, feel better and have more energy.
In practical terms this means people will get access to behaviour change tools online via mobile, tablet or PC. These are combined with 1-to-1 evidence-based coaching using methodology proven to reduce HbA1c levels and body weight, based on NIHR and MRC funded research at Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. All our tools have been researched and developed at Newcastle working closely with patients and healthcare professionals throughout.
We have also eliminated patchy understanding of behaviour change techniques and their application among healthcare professionals through the provision of online training modules accredited by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).
Contact us if you’d like to hear more about working together to form a demonstrator site.
Written by Changing Health
John Grumitt is CEO of Changing Health. He has type 1 diabetes and leads a full and active lifestyle - including completing last year’s mHealth Grand Tour from Brussels to Barcelona. John is Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation and Vice President of Diabetes UK. In 2013 he was appointed to the NHS England Commissioning Board Diabetes Clinical Reference Group. John is managing director of award-winning advisors Metapath (www.metapathsolutions.com), and is a chartered accountant who attended Wharton Business School.