CARDIFF and Vale UHB’s diabetes team based at University Hospital Llandough have been revolutionising the way patients with type 2 diabetes are cared for.

Diabetes affects around 5.6 per cent of the population of Cardiff and the Vale. Roughly nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, a condition caused by problems with the production of the hormone, insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition which can lead to serious health complications.

However, it can be managed by taking artificially-created insulin.

Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million, a figure which is expected to keep rising.

The treatment of both types of diabetes and complications arising from them currently accounts for around 10 per cent of the NHS’ budget in England and Wales.

Taking these dramatic statistics into account, it was clear to the team at Cardiff and Vale UHB that the time was right for change.

Since 2010, the team, led by Dr Lindsay George, Clinical Lead for Diabetes and Sarah Cornes-Payne, Senior Nurse for Diabetes, have worked to establish a community-based model of diabetes care and treatment.

Dr Lindsay George, Clinical Lead for Diabetes at Cardiff and Vale UHB, said: “Thanks to the Welsh Government’s Invest to Save scheme and by working in partnership with our colleagues in primary care and Lilly Pharmaceuticals, we have been able to make real progress in developing the care of diabetes patients in Cardiff and the Vale as we now work out of 58 practices across the area.”

“By putting the holistic needs of the patient at the centre of everything they do, the team have not only been able to save around £324,000 in cost-effective prescribing, they have overseen a mean reduction of 13.9mmol/mol in patients’ blood glucose levels and, over the two and a half years this project has been run, not a single patient on our books has deteriorated in terms of their glucose control.”