Feature BMJ Awards 2014

Primary care team of the year: saving money and improving care

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1753 (Published 03 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1753

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Chris Mahony, freelance journalist
  1. 1London, UK
  1. chris.mahony{at}cjmedia.biz

Chris Mahony

The BMJ Primary Care Team of the Year Award recognises primary care teams who through some project or initiative have had a substantial effect on the health and wellbeing of the wider community. Judges will be looking for teams who identified a need within a population, created a programme or intervention to meet that need in some way, and can demonstrate that their work produced results that are relevant to UK healthcare.

Helping people with diabetes to change their diet

This project seeks to tackle the rise in the numbers of people with impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes by making dietary treatment a reality for this group. David Unwin and colleagues at Norwood Surgery in Southport sought to educate and support 18 patients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes as they tested a low carbohydrate, higher fat diet that international studies have suggested could benefit them. Little research has been done in the UK.

A lot of the work was done in groups with patients’ families, which staff say was scary at first but became great fun. Several members of staff also joined the patients on the diet. By using group work and a relatively pleasurable diet emphasising food with healthier fats, vegetables, and protein, the team hoped that the process would be enjoyable for participants. Around half of the 18 met as a group for reviews of progress while the remainder had individual meetings with a GP or practice nurse.

Over nine months there were clinically and statistically significant improvements in weight, waist circumference, glycated haemoglobin, and γ-glutamyl transferase results. Mean weight fell from 100.2 kg to 91 kg and glycated haemoglobin levels also fell steadily. There has …

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