Nurse-led clinics will move over to the centre in April with consultant-led clinics following shortly after.
The centre will support the education of staff and patients on self-care – important aims of the Better Care Together strategy, which the Trust has adopted along with 11 other partners.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) approved an investment of £75,000 towards the project in November 2015.
The facilities within the Diabetes Centre include five consultation bays, an investigation room, and the David Walmsley Resource Room which will be used as a reception area and for meetings and training. Staff decided to name the room after consultant David Walmsley, one of the first diabetologists at UHMBT, who retired in 2016.
Deborah Whittle, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, UHMBT, said: “We are so excited that we are only a few months away from the opening of the centre. The vision is that our Diabetes Centre will be seen very much as an education and research centre allowing expansion of the initiatives introduced by Janet Singleton and Katherine Mason with the hub acting as a dedicated centre for patients with diabetes, facilitating multidisciplinary team working with the provision of specialist outpatient services, and help to support the education of staff and patients on self-care.”
Refurbishments started in June 2016 to transform the former Coronary Care Unit in Med Unit 1. New lighting sinks, toilets have been installed and the unit has been painted. The unit also features prints of Lancaster and the surrounding area by photographer Nina Claridge.
The centre will be open initially Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. The team has worked very hard on this project and it is great to see the centre close to being open.” The project itself was set up following a patient story at a Board of Directors meeting and implemented part of the Trust’s Listening into Action (LiA) initiative, which was launched in September 2014 to put the power back into the hands of Trust staff who lead on the improvements that they think the Trust should make for patients and staff.
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Robert Redfern, backed the hub back in May and has raised more than £5,000 for Bay Hospitals Charity. The money will go towards the Diabetes Centre. Bay Hospitals Charity is a registered charity that raises funds and supports UHMBT’s five hospital sites. Donations received go to providing those little extras that help make the hospital experience better or improve outcomes for patients. Money is used to fund additional medical equipment, medical research, and specialist training and service improvements. Councillor Redfern who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1980 and has attended the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) diabetes clinic every three months since his diagnosis. An official opening for the centre will be held in the next few months. Details will be released shortly.