PATIENTS who suffer from one of the biggest health challenges facing Bradford are being asked for their vital help in shaping future treatment.

A new project aimed at improving Bradford’s care and research into diabetes hosts its first event this month and those behind it are keen people get involved.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals and charity Diabetes UK are working together on The Improving Local Services Together Project.

BRI consultant in diabetes and endocrinology and clinical lead on the project Dr Donald Whitelaw said: "This new project aims to listen to our patients’ views and draw a wide range of people together who are affected by diabetes, so that we can develop services which they want and will make a real difference to the way we deliver their care.

"One of the most fundamental ways healthcare advances is through research and the treatments we use today once started out as studies themselves.

"It’s vital that patients in Bradford help design and improve the diabetes research being carried out through their local NHS."

Patients, families and carers are invited to the partnership's inaugural event at the Kala Sangam Arts Centre, St Peter's House, 1 Forster Square, Bradford, on July 15, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

The whole project team, including Diabetes UK staff and volunteers, and medical professionals will be there, with representatives from NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group which is leading the Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ patient and public engagement facilitator, Isla Dowds, said: “We know that diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges we face in Bradford so it’s vital that the services we provide meet the needs of the people who use them.

“That is why we need to hear from people with diabetes at first hand and tap into their ideas and expertise."

Diabetes UK’s regional manager in the Northern and Yorkshire region, Linda Wood, added: "Diabetes UK will be working with Bradford Teaching Hospitals to put patients at the heart of the services they receive. It is a welcome step forward.

"People in the city with diabetes have a chance to make a real impact and have an important say in how services are developed and improved."

A light buffet will be provided from 4.30pm until 5.45pm and the project team will be available for informal discussions before a brief introduction to the project is given, followed by a choice of small group activities where attendees can share their ideas and views.

The project's leaders are keen to talk to anyone with diabetes, but especially patients aged between 16 and 21, working-age adults, parents who care for someone with the condition and women with diabetes who have had, or may have, children in the future.

To register for the event, or find out more, email or call 020 7424 1035.