At a glance: Type 1 diabetes guide

Another NICE initiative? NICE, along with the National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions, has published new guidelines on the management of adults with type 1 diabetes for the NHS in England and Wales. They aim to address the quality-of-life issues that sufferers face through preventative screening, therapy and the promotion of self-management.

Why is this of interest to pharma PROs?

A quick read between the lines suggests increased opportunities for patient-centred information and education programmes: one of the main recommendations is that the views and preferences of patients must be incorporated more into their care. For instance, diabetes services should be organised to encourage this by taking into account the experiences of an existing insulin user.

How do they plan to achieve this?

Care should in future be provided by a multi-disciplinary team, with expertise covering elements such as nutrition, foot care and counselling as well as the more obvious ones such as the identification and management of complications. People with type 1 diabetes tend to be treated in the community rather than hospitals, but education should be offered to sufferers and their carers and their needs reviewed annually.

What sort of education?

The information would give patients the necessary motivation and skills to manage blood glucose control through insulin, self-monitoring and nutrition, recognise and address arterial risk factors such as blood pressure and smoking, and to be aware of late complications with feet, kidneys, eyes and heart.

Will there be more access to health professionals?

Adults with the condition should be assessed each year for early signs of eye, kidney, nerve, foot and arterial damage. Patients will be encouraged to talk to teams about how they use technological advances, such as the range of meal-time insulins now available, to live a close to normal life, while avoiding these late complications.

Anything else to look out for?

NICE has also produced guidelines for the management of diabetic kids.

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