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Successful diabetes project could receive prestigious NHS funding prize Posted on 12 Jan 2015

A pioneering Coventry project that has had considerable success in tackling diabetes with ethnic groups in the city has been short-listed to receive a £100,000 national prize.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes encourage, recognise and reward front line innovation and encourage the adoption of these innovations across the NHS.

Now an innovative scheme in the Foleshill is in the running to win £100,000 funding from the Diabetes Challenge as part of these national awards.

The Coventry scheme involves eight GP practices in the Foleshill area of the city and aims to help patients control their type one or two diabetes.

The area the medical centre serves is ranked as a Level 2 in terms of deprivation – with Level 1 being of greatest deprivation and Level 9 being the least deprived – and has a very large south Asian population.

This presents additional challenges in terms of culture, faith, perception of food, eating habits, language barriers and involvement and engagement that contribute to a spiralling diabetes problem.

Almost one in 10 of people living in Foleshill live with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and health professionals have always found it hard to help diabetic patients as many speak Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati or Bengali as their first language.

To tackle the issue, a multi-lingual dietician has been visiting each of the eight GP practices for a year which has resulted in attendances at their diabetic clinics increase from 18% to more than 80%.

The dietician, Shweta Patel, speaks a number of different languages and has helped to address the diabetes care issues with patients by overcoming the communication barriers. 

Michelle Horn, Lead Practice Nurse at the George Eliot Medical Centre and for NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Our dietician offers a unique one to one session and uses picture books to communicate effectively with the patient’s preferred language.

“She relates to the patient’s cultural needs and identifies how these can be met through a range of small changes to better their condition and for them to be more confident and in control of their health.”

Michelle and Shweta have been the backbone to this successful campaign and worked hand in hand in making a huge impact on what is seen to be a preventative measure of work to avoid further deterioration and long term ill-health among the South Asian communities in and around Foleshill.

Programme dietician Shweta said: “We are extremely excited about the news of possibly receiving a funding prize from the NHS Innovation Fund.

“It would be great to win as the funding would help to improve and expand the service further in to other similar areas as Foleshill, as it is important that patients feel empowered to increase their knowledge and understanding of diabetes care.” 

Please click on the following link to view the video that looks at how the project has made a difference to patients.

© Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group
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