£2m boost for diabetes care
Health officials are spending more than £2 million to make sure people with diabetes get more care in the community.
The cash will pay for 12 more specialist nurses, bringing the total to 24 in Leicestershire.
It will also pay for more education for GPs and practice nurses to help them treat patients and for more people to go on special courses to help them manage the chronic condition.
Bernie Stribling, transformation manager for diabetes in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: "This is all about care closer to people's homes, particularly with an increasingly ageing population.
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"We are recruiting extra specialist nurses in diabetes so that one will be based in places across Leicestershire, such as Oadby and Wigston.
"Their job will be to support GPs and practice nurses in their care of patients with diabetes. I am hoping we will have them all in place by next April."
At present, there are nearly 52,500 adults with the condition in Leicestershire and a further 365 children under 17 with diabetes.
The cost of drugs and testing kits is £15 million a year.
Ms Stribling said: "Most people do not need to go to hospital for treatment and this is about making sure they have the right support to manage their condition nearer to where they live.
"However, there are certain groups, which we call the super six, that will still need to be cared for by hospital specialists.
"These include children, pregnant women, hospital patients, those with renal complications, people with foot ulcer problems and those being treated with insulin pumps.
"Patient choice will always be a part of this and people can choose where they are treated.
"We hope that they will be able to see the benefits of the changes within the next few months.
"We are good at identifying people at risk through screening and we are linking with public health managers for a project called Walking Away From Diabetes, which is aimed at trying to prevent people from developing the condition.
"However, we cannot be complacent."
Kirit Mistry, from Highfields, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago has welcomed the changes. He said: "Having specialist nurses who understand patients' cultural backgrounds and what the barriers might be to people asking for help is important, especially in the South Asian community, where people are more susceptible to diabetes." Leicester East MP and type 2 diabetes sufferer Keith Vaz, who is vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes, said: "The fight against diabetes must be community-led."