Monday, 6 March 2017

Can you help?

This blog is one of the dullest ones I have ever written.  I don’t think I will get any awards for the most riveting reads. It is a bit technical and there are only about 300 people in the country that might find it useful.  I'm not really selling it am I?

But I wonder if  all of you could  all help?

Do you know who your CCG Lead GP and Lead Diabetes Commission Manager is?

If you do, can you forward this blog to them?  If you don’t, could you find out and pass this blog to them? 

I am hoping this blog will help them to support improvement in the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework indicators for diabetes.

I’ll try and explain how.

This year’s National Diabetes Audit report was published on the 31st of January 2017.

The data for this report was uploaded last Summer.

The National Diabetes Audit is the source data for the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework.

The participation rates in the National Diabetes Audit dramatically increased from 57.3% in 2014/15 to 82.4% in 2015/16.  The data this year for most CCGs will be much more reliable.

So the report gives us some clues about how each CCG will be preforming in this year’s CCGIAF Assessment for the 2 diabetes indicators:

·         “Diabetes patients that have achieved all the NICE-recommended treatment targets: Three (HbA1C, cholesterol and blood pressure) for adults and one (HbA1C) for children.

·         People with diabetes diagnosed less than a year who attend a structured education course”

We are expecting the CCGIAF assessment to be published sometime in early Spring.  The results were published last year on My NHS.

6 CCGs already know that they will be ranked automatically as “Greatest Need for Improvement” for their diabetes indicators because they had less than 25% of practices participating.

We also already know, that based on the NDA report, most CCGs will find that they have not improved since the CCGIAF report last year. 

Do not panic!

There is a reason for this.

We only knew what the indicators were in April 2016.  This gave us only 3 months before the national diabetes audit upload period in the Summer of 2016.  3 months did not give enough time to deliver any significant improvements.

HOWEVER, the next audit upload period is provisionally expected during June and July this year.  By this point we would have known about the 2 diabetes indicators for 15 months.  So we should expect to see some improvement when the data is reported on early in 2018.

Do you think we will see improvement?

My urgent advice is to get some retrospective data inputting done.

Use the recently published guidance on simplifying coding for structured patient education and work with your providers to identify those patients that have been referred to structured diabetes education since April 2015.  Then find a method to get that data into your GP systems………….. and do it before the 1st of June 2017.

Why all the way back to April 2015?  Well the NDA data capture for attendance at structured education has changed:

“Structured Education was collected differently in the 2015-16 audit.  This has meant that the time between diagnosis and the offer of structured education to the person with diabetes can be determined in days.  Therefore the numbers of people newly diagnosed within the calendar year and gives the number and percentage of people that have been offered structured education in the following 12 months, and the number and percentage of people that have attended a structure education programme in the 12 months following diagnosis .” NDA Report 2015/16

We know, from the work done by the York and Humber Clinical Network, that the “attendance” at education is poorly captured in GP systems. 

If want a quick win it would be helpful to work with structured education providers and GP practices to input this retrospective information.

Also I have a hunch that data capture for Type 1 treatment targets in GP systems could be improved too. 

I know this is dull stuff but could you help to make sure your CCG Diabetes Leads read this blog?

I need to thank Surrey Heath CCG for inspiring me to write this blog and the East Midlands Clinical Network Diabetes Lead who pointed out some important technical detail.
And ...... thank you for your help too.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Diabetes and Non Clinical Staff

Sorry for the silence.  I have been buried in the exciting Diabetes Transformation Bid process which has taken over many people’s lives ever since the application forms came out in December.  We wait to hear the results but we know that it was extremely competitive with 252 bids submitted across England for a portion of the £42m on offer.

So while we await in eager anticipation for the results I thought I’d do my first small piece of lobbying.

Did you know that there are 583,837 non-clinical staff in the NHS.  I didn’t.  I read it in the Health Service Journal published in May 2016.

Bring out your violins but sometimes I feel, as a non-clinical member of the NHS, like a second class citizen.  Even today my non-clinical role was labelled as “bean counter” and “key board warrior”.  None of it personal but still a little ouchy for a sensitive soul like me.

This feeling was reinforced by Diabetes UK last week.  Diabetes UK are advertising for more Diabetes UK Clinical Champions.

I would urge any clinical staff to apply, including Allied Health Care Professionals, Practice Nurses, Retinal Screening, Health Care Assistants, all clinical staff are eligible.  The programme, by all accounts, is really really wonderful.  It is such a luxury to have a programme where you can have quality education, surrounded and immersed in your specific area of interest.

I think the next round of places will be hotly contested.

The truth is…………….. I’m jealous.

Where are the opportunities for non clinical staff to get really good education on the disease area that they are most focused on?

I think it is human nature that we are sometimes more interested in things that we know more about.  I’ll admit, whilst I love learning something new, my eyes sometimes glaze over when a meeting turns to a topic I know nothing about and cannot contribute anything useful.

Don’t your ears prick up when discussions turn to something you are interested in and know something about?

What better way to win hearts and minds of Diabetes Commissioning Managers, Diabetes Network Managers, Diabetes Service Managers, Diabetes Clinic/Education booking staff, etc than to give them a better understanding of diabetes.  For example, I think it would be great if all managers working in diabetes knew the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and why that might impact your discussion with a patient when booking them into a clinic, or the sort of service you are supporting to commission.

Obviously a doing a needs assessment first would be handy, after all, not everyone is as geeky as me.  It might prove that non clinical staff might not be remotely interested.

But quality education in diabetes could enable more non clinical managers to have confident conversations with their clinical colleagues.  It might enable better decision making and quality interactions.

So if anyone is willing to run education for Diabetes “Champions”, please put my name down.

Let’s have Diabetes champions ………………… whoever you are.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Above and Beyond

The submission deadline for the Diabetes Transformation Fund is today at 5pm.

I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from everyone across the country involved in creating these extensive and complicated bids.

And you are all absolutely amazing

Hours and hours of meetings and work have been ploughed into developing the bids.  Putting a finger in the wind I suspect that nearly every CCG in the country will be a part of one or more bids.   That’s absolutely fantastic.  To complete the documents required has been a labour of love.   As always, NHS staff, have given up hours of their own time to ensure that they have submitted the best bids they can.  It also demonstrates the importance that CCGs/STPs/Providers places on care for people with diabetes. They have gone above and beyond to get the best they can for people with diabetes.

Everyone has approached the bids in different ways.  Some have done a careful analysis of local needs and have bid for their priority area in the 4 bid categories (Multidisciplinary Foot Care Teams, Diabetes Inpatient Nursing, Treatment targets and Structured Patient Education).  Some have hedged their bets and have put in a bid for all 4 categories.  Some have bid as a single CCG and some have bid in line with local patient pathways or STP footprints.  Some CCGs have done a single bid and a collaborative bid.

All have gone above and beyond. All have worked extremely hard.  If the bid evaluation was just based on effort and commitment alone everyone deserves some funding to support their plans for diabetes.

However, we know that if nearly every CCG does have at least 1 or more bids the chances are that it will add up to more than the £44m pot available.  We know that this is competitive process.  We know that there is potential for some to have put the effort in but will be disappointed. This funding will not solve all the issues that we are being asked to address, through the "STP Diabetes Aide Memoire" but every bit will help. 

Whatever happens, the richness of conversations that the bid process has created has been fantastic.  The discussions across boundaries, the further understanding of local need prompted by the bid process can only go towards supporting what has to be delivered in the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework and the Diabetes STP Aide Memoire. None of this effort will be wasted
Ultimately you had to be in it in win it.  Everyone has done their level best to compete for a little bit extra for their local services.  Like an exam, you have done all the hard work, you have done everything you can.

We hope to hear the outcome of the bids by mid March 2017.

You have all gone above and beyond.  You are all amazing.  Good luck.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

25 working days – Ready, Steady, Go!

I’m going to keep this blog short and sweet because I know how busy every manager who has diabetes in their portfolio, is going to be.

The much anticipated opportunity to bid for £44m, an extra £4m than originally announced in the NHS England Operations and Contracting Guidance in September. 

Follow this link to find all the information.  The deadline for submitting your bid is the 18th of January 2017 – 25 working days.  Challenging over the Christmas period.
The funding is:

“To support the implementation of the Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved NHS efficiency, NHS England has created a transformation fund. This funding will enable local areas to deliver on key ambitions identified by the independent cancer and mental health taskforces. Additionally we will continue to build on the Transforming Care priority for those with learning disabilities and kick start, at scale, revolutions for diabetes treatment and prevention”.

“Revolutions”!  Not only have you got to get these bids in fast but there is a clear steer that the bids have to engender “Revolution”.

NHS England want to support bids for the following 4 areas:

·         Structured education £10m

·         Treatment targets £17m

·         Multi-Disciplinary Footcare Teams (MDFTs)  £8m

·         Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nursing Teams (DISNs)  £8m  

It is worth noting the breakdown of how much funding NHS England want to put into each of the 4 priority areas.  This might influence your bid focus.

Another point of note is that bids need to reference and be submitted via STPs:

 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are central to this process and all bids should be explicitly linked to the relevant local STP plans. This process is open to any STP, although individual organisations or alliances may bid on behalf of an STP for this funding; submission of applications must be via STPs.”

There is one thing I think that this less clear:

“It is also to give an indicative sense of any modelling assumptions of transformation funding beyond 2018/19, should this be available”.

My understanding of this statement is that if you do not bid or are unsuccessful in your bid this automatically means that, if there is any further funding in 2018/19, you will not be eligible.

So it is well worth putting aside your turkey to get your bid in.

I have a feeling that despite the challenging deadline over Christmas and getting agreements.  I am very optimistic that CCGs/Collaborative of CCGs/STPs will bid for this funding in their droves. 

25 days – Ready, Steady, GO!!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

It’s the small things

A couple of small things before I start.

I am learning about blogging all the time.  Recently I have learnt that you can get an email notification when I publish a blog (isn’t technology clever).  So if you want to register just scroll down and on the right and there is a little box that looks like this:
Follow by Email

Top of

Bottom ofAnother small thing is that in my last blog I mentioned that there might be a 5th area for the Diabetes Funding from NHS England called “Enhancing Pathways”.  This is not correct.  Serves me right for being impatient and not waiting till the actual bidding guidance comes out.
The Diabetes Funding bidding process announcement has been delayed so we all a wait with eager anticipation.
So with those small things tidied up I wanted to write about another small thing.
If you’ve read my blog before you will probably have noted that I am particularly passionate about diabetes patient education.  See my previous blogs – Brick Dust and Diabetes Patient Education – A Moral Imperative?
There are so many things in diabetes care to feel strongly about. I wonder why this one continues to bubble to the top of my personal interest?

I think it is partly because whilst working for NHS Diabetes I was given this as my key lead area so that exposed me to a more detailed understanding and it easy to be interested in something you get to learn quite a lot about.  Another reason is the people I meet.  The people who are so dedicated to good quality patient education.  They are just so flipping inspirational that I can’t help but be infected by them.   Also meeting patients who say how patient education has made such an enormous difference, is so powerful. 
But mostly - it just makes sense.  When we know that diabetes patients only see a health care professional for an average of 3 hours a year;  how else do we expect to manage the rising need without enabling, supporting, encouraging and allowing people with diabetes the opportunity to help themselves?
So, no one is more delighted than me that the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework Indicators for Diabetes and the funding bids strongly focus on ATTENDING education.  Yes I know.  It’s not for everyone. I know it can be a struggle for people with diabetes and health care professionals to attend and provide courses.  I also know that education is a complement to everything else and not the panacea.  But when patients do attend a well-run, quality course it can be transformational.
Currently the data for ‘attendance’ is not being captured correctly.  A smashing piece of work was done by York and Humber Diabetes Clinical Network shows that 25% to 30% of people with diabetes do attend education which is 5 times higher than the nationally reported figure. 
It’s sad where services are getting good attendance rates at patient education that this is not being shown in national statistics.  It’s hard to justify, sustain, get a pat on the back, and show what an amazing job is being done by diabetes teams without good quality data. 
That is why I am delighted that Diabetes UK, with the support of the 11 national Clinical Networks, education providers and many others have produced some guidance on improving data capture for “attendance” at patient education so that we properly capture and recognise the work that is going on out there and also can have a more informed understanding of where gaps need to be addressed.
The guidance has 4 simple Read Codes (The explanation of Read Codes can be found here)
If Diabetes Structured Education Providers can ensure that they let Primary Care practices know these codes further to their referral then this can be entered into the patient record and then captured through the annual National Diabetes Audit. Simple.

I know that little bit of guidance won’t change the world.  It is such a very small thing.  But it is a baby step in the right direction.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Beyond Money

I’ve not said this before but I should say that all opinions in my blogs are my own.  For some reason I particularly feel obliged to say this before I go on and write.  I welcome challenge to my thoughts.  It is where I get my learning from.  The NHS is so big and complex that no individual person can possibly have a completely confident overview and for a middle manager like me that is certainly true.

So with my disclaimer said, I will carry on.

As we continue to wait for more detail on the process to access the £40m announced in the NHS England Operating and Contracting Framework it is giving rise to some interesting observations.
We are expecting bids for be for the following 4 areas:

1.       improving uptake of structured education

2.       improving access to specialist inpatient support to reduce length of stay for people with diabetes

3.       improving access to a multi-disciplinary foot team for people with diabetic foot disease to reduce amputations

4.       improving the achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets.

 But also potentially a 5th category will be included called:

5.       Enhancing Pathways

The expectation of the need to quickly mobilise to submit robust bids has given rise to lots of interesting discussion.

During one such discussion it was agreed that clinical time would be needed to support the implementation of the planned work should a bid be approved.  In response one of the group said: “You can give me £1million, £2million, £3million but we still will not have the capacity; the available staff or the trainees in the pipeline to implement the work and increase capacity”. 

It made me pause.

Has the NHS gone beyond money?  We may have money to give to diabetes, which is a wonderful and exciting opportunity at this time of austerity but are there the people out there with the right skills and training?  With the potential implications of Brexit; the removal of grants for student nurses and no significant rise in NHS funding are we likely to see a dramatic increase in the wider pool of clinicians currently available to us?

These are competitive bids.  There is potential that not everywhere will receive funding.  We know, for example, that we have shortages of nurses and podiatrists in general.  In proposals looking to hire staff, even in the short term, could we end up just pinching staff from each other potentially de-fleecing other departments or neighbouring services who did not win funding? 
There certainly is a weight of responsibility for those who will be reviewing and approving bids and although tricky to ascertain, it may be reviewers need to check that they are not robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Just a thought.

A bit like Sir David Attenborough, sitting in the jungle and observing interesting behaviours, I have also witnessed other phenomena arising from the funding bids.

I recently attended a meeting where GP diabetes leads were introducing themselves, for the first time, to their neighbouring GP diabetes leads.  It was delightful to see.  There was a huge richness and shared learning in the conversations had.

So maybe there is something else this funding provokes beyond just money.  Something just as valuable as pounds and pence.  The opportunity to review where services are at; across boundary discussions; galvanising shared learning and new relationships.

All of value - beyond money.

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Horse’s Mouth

We are all eagerly awaiting the NHS England bidding process for the diabetes transformation fund announced in the 2017-19 NHS Operational and Planning Guidance (page 22)

There is a huge amount of speculation and diabetes managers have been bombarded, since the announcement on the 22nd of September, with questions from providers, commissioners and businesses, about how to get their hands on some of the funding.

There are questions about who can bid; how much; how many bids can be submitted; what’s the evaluation process, etc, etc.
It is also believed that the bidding process will be one bite of the cherry.  That the funding bids will be for a portion of £80m across 2 years (£40m in 2017/18 and £40m in 2018/19).  That the bids will be the one and only opportunity.  However, this is probably incautious speculation. 
Much better to get information from the horse’s mouth.  So this week my action for Diabetes Managers is to sign up for the “Diabetes Programme E-Bulletin”.  It was formally called the “Diabetes Prevention Programme E-Bulletin” but now there is a national “Diabetes Treatment and Care Programme” it has expanded to include information on this as well.
Please follow this LINK to sign up.
This month’s bulletin has the following information regarding the bids which you may find helpful:

National Diabetes Treatment and Care Programme Update

  • As announced in the 2017-19 Planning Guidance, NHS England will be launching a wider programme of investment to support the treatment and care of people who already have diabetes.
  • CCGs and CCG-led partnerships will have the opportunity to bid for additional national funding of approximately £40m in 2017/18 to promote access to evidence based interventions which will improve:
    • uptake of structured education;
    • access to specialist inpatient support
    • access to a multi-disciplinary foot team for people with diabetic foot disease; and
    • the achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets whilst driving down variation between CCGs.
  • Using a Best Possible Value approach, the national team have reviewed the evidence base and identified key initiatives which will result in the highest return on investment in these four areas.
The bidding process
  • The bidding process for the diabetes transformation fund will form part of a wider process alongside several other clinical priority areas, such as maternity, cancer and mental health.
  • CCGs and CCG-led partnerships will be invited to submit bids including details of their current services for patients with diabetes and outline delivery plans for proposed new or expanded services/initiatives. The nature of who participates in the partnership, and the roles of each partner, will be for local determination.
  • It is expected that the bidding documentation will be published during early November. This timeline should enable successful areas to be informed of their allocation ahead of the start of the 2017/18 financial year.
Ahead of the publication of bidding documentation, and throughout the bidding period, we will be holding webinars with the Clinical Network, Diabetes UK and CCG colleagues (dates to follow) to inform of progress, encourage feedback and respond to queries.

No doubt the official notification regarding the bid process will ensure that Diabetes Managers will be kept very busy in the weeks before Christmas but hopefully the effort put in will reap a nice post festive bonus for diabetes care.