Councillor Redfern, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1980 and has attended the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) diabetes clinic since his diagnosis, raised £15,668 from a series of charity evenings during his time in office as Mayor of Lancaster in 2016/2017. The new centre was his chosen charity.
The diabetes centre at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) was inspired by a patient story at a Board of Directors meeting in 2014 and is dedicated to specialist outpatient services for people living with diabetes in North Lancashire. Consultant and nurse-led clinics opened in the centre in the first week of July.
Councillor Redfern said: “This centre will benefit people from all over the area. Being involved with this project I feel overwhelming pride for all of those involved and what has been achieved.”
Services, at the new centre at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI), include consultant and nurse-led clinics for patients with diabetes, clinics for teenagers and young adults with diabetes, and clinics for those with a range of different hormonal disorders. The diabetes team would like to use this new facility to provide specialist insulin pump clinics and a second diabetic foot clinic in which to see high risk patients with foot ulceration that will hopefully help reduce the number of lower limb amputations in the district. There are also plans to use the centre for patent and staff training in diabetes care, supporting patients in self-management and opening opportunities to participate in research to local patients.
A recent national diabetes inpatient audit showed that almost 20% of inpatients at the RLI have diabetes and patients with diabetes stay in hospital longer than patients with diabetes who do not have the condition.
The new integrated service aims include:
• Improving patient care and outcomes
• Reducing hospital admissions
• Improved performance for all clinics
• Reduction of length of stay for inpatient diabetic foot disease to at or below the national average
• Supporting education of staff and patients on self-care
• Reduced clinic non-attendance rates for young adults with type 1 diabetes
• Reducing major and minor lower limb amputation rates in North Lancashire –to at or below the national average
Deborah Slater, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, who has led the project, said: “We cannot thank Councillor Redfern enough for his support. He really has gone above and beyond to raise awareness of diabetes locally and to help get the centre off the ground. “Diabetes is such a multifaceted disease which requires multi-professional approach and what this centre means is that we can all work together in this centre to provide that care to truly improve the service that we deliver to our local population. “Patient empowerment to self-manage their diabetes through education is an essential element of diabetes care. Local provision of structured education is well below national targets, and the IT and education facilities we have incorporated into the new diabetes centre will allow us to support the widening of local patient education provision.”
The new centre follows a national move to ensure that more complex patients with diabetes are seen in secondary care.