Home Diabetes Digital healthcare at heart of new NHS Long Term Plan

Digital healthcare at heart of new NHS Long Term Plan


Preventing type 2 diabetes and improving digital health services is among the ambitions of the new 10-year NHS Long Term Plan, which has been published today.

Directives of the plan include people newly diagnosed with diabetes having more access to structured education and digital self-management support tools through the NHS.

The document also states that every pregnant woman with type 1 diabetes will be offered continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) by 2020/21, a move welcomed by type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

The plan said: “The NHS will increase its contribution to tackling some of the most significant causes of ill health, including new action to help people stop smoking, overcome drinking problems and avoid type 2 diabetes, with a particular focus on the communities and groups of people most affected by these problems.”

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out steps the health service’s aims to take over the next decade to improve nationwide healthcare, and also confirms the recent news that people with type 1 diabetes will receive improved availability to the FreeStyle Libre from 2019.

The NHS aims to minimise the risk of future complications for people with diabetes by “continuing investment” to “achieve the recommended diabetes treatment targets”, the plan stated.

“We will support people who are newly diagnosed to manage their own health by further expanding provision of structured education and digital self-management support tools.”

Responding to the news that pregnant women with type 1 will be offered CGMs by 2020/21, Karen Addington, JDRF’s Chief Executive in the UK, said: “Type 1 diabetes can be tough to live with. Pregnant women with the condition face particular challenges. Today’s news will help keep mothers and their babies healthy. It will help set world standards for provision of medical technology for pregnant women with type 1 diabetes.”

In line with the NHS’s focus on digital healthcare, Diabetes Digital Media’s Low Carb Program is now on offer in the NHS Apps Library. This library provides ‘Trusted digital tools for patients and the public to manage and improve their health’. Healthcare professionals are able to direct patients to the Low Carb Program for their type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and for weight loss.

Dr Campbell Murdoch, Chief Medical Officer at DDM, welcomed the NHS Long Term Plan. “The [NHS Long Term] plan provides a focus on how the NHS will meet patients’ needs. It highlights the importance of digital health services, and patients empowered to manage their own health.

“For people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes we know the right knowledge and support puts people in control of their health. At DDM our mission is to empower people with digital health solutions.

“The Low Carb Program has enabled 1 in 4 people to place their type 2 diabetes into remission. People with prediabetes are seeing their condition resolve, and many are achieving significant weight loss.”

With an emphasis on preventing type 2 diabetes, the document announced the development and expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Programme to offer digital access from 2019.

Additionally, the health service will “ensure that all hospitals in future provide access to multidisciplinary footcare teams and diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams” in a bid to aid recovery and reduce hospital stays and future re-admissions.

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