National event showcases WMAHSN programme which aims to make 1,000 differences to people with diabetes

Posted on 26 November 2015 (Permalink)

WMAHSN used the opportunity of the Pharmacy Show in October to highlight a successful programme it is running on medicines optimisation for diabetes.

Lucy Chatwin, Business Manager with WMAHSN, along with Sat Kotecha, the West Midlands’ Pharmacy Local Professional Network Chair, delivered a session on "Make a difference with diabetes" at the show. Lucy leads the “Making a difference to people with diabetes through medicines optimisation” programme, which aims to make a difference by bringing together a community of like-minded people to share and spread ideas to improve the lives of people in the West Midlands with diabetes.

The programme launched in December 2014, when the first cohort of people gathered to undertake the inaugural two day workshop. Attendees learned new ways of thinking about how to make a difference and planned how to work together to engage 500 people to make 1,000 differences to people with diabetes. The event was just the first in a series that are being rolled out across the region.

Lucy explained: “Seventeen trailblazers came to the first ever event, bringing passion and an open mind, ideas and a desire to make a difference. In a very short time, the group had come up with more than 170 ideas, large and small, which have the potential to make a real change to the lives of people with diabetes.”

These ideas ranged from national directives such as a tax on sugar, to local initiatives such as healthy food boxes, support networks and exercise classes, to very personal changes – “help my mother-in-law reduce her weight and therefore the need for medication”.

The programme has also won the admiration of WMAHSN’s stakeholders, with a recent survey respondent commenting: “WMAHSN are really good at promoting these great things, and the medicines optimisation programme has this drive behind it that engages people".

For more information, contact Lucy.

Case study: Increasing ACR screening to make a difference

Microalbuminuria is a moderate increase in the level of urine albumin. It is a prognostic marker for diabetes, as well as CKD, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, venous thromboembolism and all-cause mortality. At risk patients are identified by their albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR). As part of the Making a difference programme one of the participants, Walsall GP Dr Andrew Askey, set out to increase the number of his patients who had ACR screens. Compared with the previous year, the results were:


 406 ACR screens done (36 per month on average)

 89 patients coded for microalbuminuria


 385 ACR screens done in just seven months (55 per month on average)

 134 patients coded for microalbuminuria


There was also an increase across all eight National Diabetes Audit care processes for diabetes patients, including treatment targets for Hba1c, BP and cholesterol.

Dr Askey said: “The main difference I had focused on was the ACR screening, as I see that as being a fairly easy win: it’s not a difficult thing to do and has multiple gains from one simple intervention. What I think is of more significance is showing improvement in the eight care processes and treatment targets, especially with cholesterol. This adds up to 585 differences made in my practice so far this year, and that doesn’t count the many who have had changes in medication and improved BP and HbA1c control.”