Back in February we published an extensive article by Elizabeth Sisson on the Hawke’s Bay DHB’s diabetes strategy — A Diabetes Epidemic in Hawke’s Bay?

Given the recent publicity about the startling scale of New Zealand’s diabetes problem, I thought a reprise was in order.

Our DHB has launched a very promising patient-centered approach, which builds upon patient education, empowerment and self-care. In addition, the HBDHB has been selected for a three-year pilot program aimed at improving access to diabetes screening for our high at-risk Maori population.

In her article, Elizabeth quotes local businessman Graeme Norton, himself a diabetes patient:

“When you get diabetes, your whole family gets it,” he said. “The responsibility is with you and the family or whanau around you. Providers need to explain to all of them what’s happening — but, at the end of the day, the only person who manages your condition is yourself.” He sees education and access to coordinated diabetes health services as essential to the successful treatment of diabetes.

“What worries me is that those who are articulate and involved get over-serviced and those who are not don’t get access. I’d rather see more spent on prevention and early intervention, which saves money in the long run. I also want to see more emphasis on outcomes. Our health system is designed around activities, not outcomes. We should ask: has this intervention achieved a measurable result? If not, we should be doing something else.”

Graeme helped plan the new DHB approach. He has recently been appointed to serve on the DHB’s Community and Public Health Advisory Committee, where I suspect he’ll keep an eye on the programme’s progress.

Tom Belford

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1 Comment

  1. Hi All

    The "launch" is over and the real work is well and truly underway. A new "governance" structure for supporting services for diabetes is in place. The 7 of us on the Diabetes Leadership Team comprise patients and practitioners inlcuding GP and practice nurse, GP and nurse specialists and secondary specialists. In other words we are attempting to cover the major areas and bring together a patient centred strategy. I am priviledged to chair that group and I am sure we share a strong will to make a difference. Beyond that is a wider HB Diabetes Team with many of the providers and linked patient/community entities around that table. They will be our broader advisory group (and keep us to task! :))

    All of this has strong support from the DHB and the PHO. Yes diabetes is an enormous challenge in our community and the stats say it all. We can and will do better and that can only happen in a sustainable way if we empower people towards supported self management. Practical steps are being taken right now to support more workforce and community education and to bring together information to enable us to make better decisions about who to target and where to get the most traction. Kind regards

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