Dr Sue Roberts, National Clinical Director for Diabetes, was guest speaker at the inaugural Stephanie Marks Appeal annual lecture, on September 6. Where she highlighted how the proposed Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre to be based at St. Peter’s Hospital Chertsey, will help deliver the standards of care set out in a national framework for Diabetes (NSF National Service Framework) to people in North Surrey, Middlesex and the wider region.

At the lecture, hosted by the Ship Hotel, Weybridge (part of the Desborough Hotel Group, who have sponsored the charity), Dr Roberts explained that the improved standards of clinical care and education for people with diabetes can only be delivered through genuine partnerships between healthcare professionals and patients, and via structured networks providing coordinated services. Through these networks, 85% of care will be delivered locally, supported by specialist services.

The Stephanie Marks diabetes resource centre is being established to update the way diabetes is managed in the Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust catchment area. Working in partnership with GPs with a special interest in diabetes, it will integrate primary and secondary care diabetes management and services across the community to form the first ‘hub and spoke’ diabetes service in the South East. The centre will become a focal point for patients, carers, researchers and healthcare professionals, delivering cutting edge clinical services and becoming a major regional centre for diabetes research.

Dr Mike Baxter, Consultant Diabetologist and Endocrinologist at Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The number of people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, is set to increase dramatically over the coming years. The ASPH Trust recognised this growing problem and the likely future strain on local services some years ago. The Stephanie Marks centre and the associated remodelling of local diabetes services have been planned to guarantee local access to the best care for everyone affected by diabetes”.

Dr Baxter went on to explain the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and outlined how our understanding of the treatment of the two conditions has developed:

  • Type 1 diabetes is the result of a complete lack of insulin, and the primary goal of treatment is to control blood glucose and prevent complications especially kidney damage, which is the leading cause of death in patients with type 1 diabetes. However, while type 1 diabetes is fairly rare it is type 2 diabetes that is becoming more common.
  • Type 2 diabetes used to be seen as a less serious condition, but it is now known to be just as serious as type 1. There is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Treatment of type 2 diabetes focuses much more on controlling blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent these major events.

The two speakers were introduced by Chairman of Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust Clive Thompson CBE, who is also Chairman of the Stephanie Marks Appeal. He compared expenditure on healthcare across different countries and questioned whether the increased funding for healthcare in the UK promised in recent budget statements will provide sufficient funds to allow the NHS to develop the new models of care that are needed to deal predicted increase in diabetes over the coming years.

If you would like to be kept up-to-date with progress on the Appeal, please call the Stephanie Marks Appeal fundraising office, on 01932 722330.


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