A key ambition of the Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme will be to improve diabetes care across the region. 

That means looking afresh at all aspects of diabetes care – including prevention, education and support, monitoring, and delivering the very best treatment.

Dr Christian Chilcott, a GP and the diabetes clinical commissioning lead for north Hampshire for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, believes that there is a huge opportunity to significantly improve the way people living with diabetes are supported and treated.

Dr Chilcott said: “We need to be ambitious and aim for the best. The best diabetes care of all is successful prevention – stopping people from developing Type 2 diabetes. That means helping people to stay healthy, stay active and eat well – a real team effort between the person, the NHS, local councils, social care, education and voluntary bodies.

“We have an opportunity to develop a gold standard community-based diabetes service for the people of north and mid Hampshire, a new integrated diabetes service, if you like.

“A new integrated service can excel in coordinating the complex care of people with diabetes in the community. It would bring together the many elements of excellent diabetes care - specialists such as podiatrists, dieticians, diabetes specialist nurses, retinal screening, community-based diabetologists and psychological support, alongside general practice – working together to improve outcomes for patients.”

Dr Andrea Norris, a consultant endocrinologist at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, believes Hampshire Together can enable doctors working across the health system to work better together and empower people with diabetes to lead their own care and treatment.

“By working better together as a system, we can really improve the lives of people living with diabetes,” she said. “Most importantly, while a brand new hospital will be fantastic for specialist diabetes services, we want to really focus on preventing complications and minimising the effect of diabetes on other health issues, so that fewer people actually need hospital care.

“Part of this is about the way that we manage diabetes in the community – running more clinics in GP practices alongside community doctors, which would give people a more local, convenient service, and allow the professionals to work together with the patient to ensure they are helped to manage their own condition independently.

“New digital platforms can also help patients to keep track of their own conditions, and allow us to monitor their health, without them having to make multiple trips to hospital or their GP for what are often routine check-ups. This can save patients a lot of time and stress, and help us to pick up potential problems earlier, before they get more serious and require hospital admission.”

The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme involves NHS and social care providers across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas. It is being led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The programme includes the construction of a brand new hospital – but its impact will reach far beyond the walls of this new building, involving GPs, mental health, community care, social care and the wider voluntary sector, as well as acute hospital care.

As part of the Hampshire Together programme, people across north and mid Hampshire are currently being asked for their views on the way health services are provided in the area now and in the future.

You can hear more about the opportunities that the programme provides for diabetes care, as well as having your say, during a special online engagement event taking place at 11am on Saturday 25 July. If you would like to take part you can register by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/109854995248.

Another chance to have your say will take place at 8pm on Thursday (July 23) night, when the focus will be on Eastleigh. If you would like to take part in this event, you can register by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/109959002336.

More information about Hampshire Together, including details of all upcoming events, and an online comment form can be found at www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk. You can also find Hampshire Together on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HampshireMOHHS) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/hampshiretogether).

If you would like to receive the listening document and a comment form by post, write to the programme at FREEPOST Hampshire Together (no stamp required) with your name and address.