Improving diabetes services for our citizens is an important focus for the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership.

A recent National Diabetes Audit indicated there are around 36,000 people with diabetes registered with a Surrey Heartlands or Surrey Heath GP practice. The number of people diagnosed with, or at risk of developing, the condition grows every day and, based on current population trends, by 2035 it’s likely that 4.9 million people will have diabetes in the UK.

Tackling the rise in the number of people with diabetes is vital not only to support our citizens to live longer, healthier and fulfilled lives but also to support the sustainable future of the health service.

Making a difference

Sadly many people will experience potentially preventable complications because of diabetes, simply because they don’t know enough about their condition and how to manage it. All our projects are aimed at supporting people to manage their condition, receive care from knowledgeable professionals and to be able to access information and assistance when needed.

Our programme contains three main projects:


What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to respond or produce the hormone insulin is impaired. This causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. If left untreated it can cause serious health problems. 

Diabetes can increase your risk of developing complications such as a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and loss of vision.

There are two main types of diabetes called Type 1 and Type 2, and around 90% of adults with diabetes have Type 2.

Type 1 is where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin and treatment is with insulin.

Type 2 is where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin, people may be treated with tablets initially and then require insulin.

Improving patient outcomes against the NICE recommended treatment targets by:

  • supporting GPs to ensure people with diabetes receive their annual diabetes checks
  • developing a diabetes education programme to improve the skills and understanding of health care professionals
  • working with Diabetes UK to engage with our citizens and promote the importance of self-management

Increasing the number of people with diabetes who attend education in diabetes and how to self-manage the condition, by:

  • developing a greater choice of education at different locations and at different times to make it easier for citizens to attend
  • increasing the number of course places available
  • offering online education
  • ensuring that everyone understand how important education is and the differences it can make for a person with diabetes

Recruiting diabetes specialists nurses to work in hospital and GP practices to improve the patient outcomes and experience by:

  • seeing people with diabetes before they are admitted to hospital to optimise their diabetes control
  • supporting people during their inpatient stay and ensure their diabetes medications are given at the right time in the right way
  • providing specialist diabetes support for patients and carers when in hospital and to improve communication on discharge
  • providing diabetes education across the hospital to make sure that all staff on the wards understand diabetes and how to care for patients with diabetes

There is strong international evidence which demonstrates how behavioural interventions – which support people to maintain a healthy weight and be more active – can significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition.

It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. Find out more about diabetes and when to see your doctor here.