New folder scheme will enable diabetic patients to track their own progress

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A patient undergoing a blood test for diabetes A patient undergoing a blood test for diabetes

Health bosses hope to tackle the growing problem of diabetes – through giving out simple folders.

They hope the cost-effective measure will help the increasing number of diabetics in the district to manage their condition, by recording when they are due for key blood tests or checks for damage to their eyes and feet.

They can also keep track of their medication and record personal health goals and action plans.

The folders are being handed out to 300 patients across the district in a pilot project.

The six participating GP practices – Idle, Rockwell and Wrose, Ashcroft, Haigh Hall, Moorside and Eccleshill Village – will each oversee 50 patients.

The scheme, called Living Well With Diabetes, is a partnership between local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and Public Health at Bradford Council.

Elaine Appelbee, of the RNIB, said the GP practices involved would monitor whether patients’ test results improved during the pilot, which will run until next March.

She said: “They will see if using the folder strengthens the patients’ ability to manage their disease in a way that means their test results are better. It’s the start of an interesting experiment to see if there is something here that might benefit a lot of people with diabetes. In order to do that, we are testing it with a few.”

The folders were originally designed as part of a test in Keighley, which came out of research in the Bradford district into preventing blindness in diabetics.

As the Telegraph & Argus reported last week, the number of people suffering from diabetes locally has leapt by 30 per cent in just four years, according to health bosses.

There are now about 38,200 diabetics across the district, or one in 20 people, but this is expected to rise to one in ten by 2030, according to the director of public health, Dr Anita Parkin.

An independent review of diabetes services is underway, after a national audit found that a low number of patients in Bradford with type 1 or type 2 diabetes were being given the nine key types of care recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.

These include measurements of weight, blood pressure, smoking status, cholesterol, and tests to assess whether the eyes and feet have been damaged.

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