Berkshire West Diabetes Newsletter - August 2015

 View online/print here August 2015
Monthly diabetes news for healthcare professionals and
others in Berkshire West
  Using HbA1c tests properly  
  HbA1c in monitoring and diagnosis  

HbA1c is a relatively expensive test and the number of requests is increasing. Its main uses are: a) monitoring and b) confirming diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes. HbA1c 42-47mmol/mol = pre diabetes (unless the patient has diabetes already and is well controlled); HbA1c >47 = diabetes.

Guidance for using HbA1c properly

  1. Please don't request tests more frequently than every three months. The ICE form now has a pop-up to show you recent results if you do request one less than three months after the last HbA1c test.
  2. Don't use the HbA1c test to screen for diabetes unless you have a strong reason. Better to use a blood glucose test (either fasting or random), then if the fasting or random blood glucose is >7, request an HbA1c test.

You can find more details about the use of HbA1c in diagnosing diabetes here.

  Befriending service for new patients  
  Local telephone support  

Local volunteers with diabetes, supported by public health, have set up a telephone befriending service for new patients. The advice is non-medical and aims to simply offer personal support from someone who knows what it's like to have the condition. The volunteers can signpost specific medical questions appropriately.

The telephone number to pass on to new patients is 07736 833978 and a poster for practices is available here.

Diabetes UK telephone support
Diabetes UK also offers a helpline available for patients that can give specific advice for people living with diabetes. Further information is available here.

  X-PERT awards  
  National award for local X-PERT team  

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have recently been presented with two awards by charity X-PERT Health after the results for its patients attending diabetes education sessions in 2013 and 2014 showed impressive results. There are six categories for the awards: number of patients referred; attendance; satisfaction and empowerment; greatest improvement in diabetes control, weight management and cardiovascular risk factors.

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust were placed in the following categories:

• The greatest improvement in glycated haemoglobin at 6 months – Winner
• The largest impact on body weight and waist circumference - Second place

Find out more here.

Priority for new patients
Please only refer new patients to X-PERT for the time  being, as the X-PERT team is struggling to cope with demand.

Diabetes Specialist Nurse Hotline: 07879 814922 (Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm) Consultant Hotline: 07717 867448. Email:
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