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Type 1 diabetes consultation tool and user guide

In light of the increasing demand upon NHS diabetes services, achieving good outcomes for people with type 1 diabetes can be a challenge. As the NHS struggles to keep pace with demand and advances in technological solutions for the management of diabetes, the fundamental elements of treatment such as care planning and communication can be lost. This is evidenced in national data sets demonstrating significant variation in the health outcomes of people with diabetes.

The Health Innovation Network in partnership with King’s Health Partners has developed the Type 1 diabetes Consultation tool (T1C) and an accompanying user guide for health care professionals. This consultation tool is specifically designed for the management of type 1 diabetes and provides a holistic approach to care planning, bringing together a measure for psychological wellbeing (diabetes distress) as well as clinical results (HbA1c and Gold Score). It enables the clinician to plot the results on a circular chart which prompts consideration of the relationship between the three measures. The aggregated results from use of the tool can also be used to help better understand the needs of the patient population and improve services accordingly. Healthcare professionals and service managers are encouraged to read the user guide before introducing the T1C in clinics.

The T1C user guide includes:

  • A comprehensive explanation of the tool and research that supports it
  • A guide for incorporating the tool in consultations
  • Suggested pathways for hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia and diabetes distress
  • Links to useful resources

The purpose of the T1C is to improve the quality of consultations and bring together consideration of the mental and physical wellbeing of people with Type 1 diabetes.

This tool is aims to reduce the variation in care planning that currently exists across services, by encouraging diabetes teams to review how their current provision meets the needs of their local population e.g. in improving access to technology, structured education and access to psychological support. It facilitates the collection of a robust data set which will provide a detailed picture of demand to inform outcomes-based commissioning.

For more information please contact Faye Edwards, Senior Project Manager, at faye.edwards3@nhs.net.