Feature BMJ Awards 2014

Diabetes Team of the Year: adaptable and supportive

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2708 (Published 15 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2708
  1. Adrian O’Dowd, freelance journalist
  1. 1London, UK
  1. adrianodowd{at}hotmail.com

The Diabetes Team of the Year category recognises an innovative project or initiative that has measurably improved care in diabetes. Adrian O’Dowd meets the shortlisted teams

Given the increasing rate of diabetes in the population, the condition is a growing challenge for healthcare professionals. Entries for the diabetes team award had to give evidence of how they identified a need among patients or within a population, detail their intervention or programme, show a measurable improvement in health outcomes, demonstrate how the project added to previous knowledge, and explain how their work was of wider relevance to UK healthcare. The nominated candidates are all alert to current best practice, adaptable to new knowledge and therapeutic opportunities as they arise, and supportive to patients and their families.

3 Dimensions of care for diabetes, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London

Diabetes affects patients in many ways, and a team at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, found an innovative approach that took into account the fact that a third of patients with diabetes have a psychiatric comorbidity—usually depression, but sometimes diabetes related psychological distress, anxiety disorder, or cognitive impairment—that interferes with self management of their diabetes.

3 Dimensions of Care for Diabetes (3DFD) is a model of integrated care that deals with patients’ psychological and social problems as well as their diabetes. The 3DFD team consists of a liaison psychiatrist specialising in diabetes, who delivers mental health interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy, and two community support workers from the third sector (ThamesReach), who deal with social problems. The team shares the same clinic space as the diabetes teams across five hospital and community sites.

Since the project began, there have been clinically significant reductions in patients’ haemoglobin A1c levels and improvements in lipid levels, blood pressure, and weight control. Sixty per cent of patients received a new diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder, …

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