King’s diabetes project scoops NHS Innovation Award

25 February 2015 - A pioneering diabetes project set up by a team from King's Health Partners has been awarded a £50,000 NHS Innovation Challenge Prize

3DFD award

3 Dimensions of care for Diabetes (3DFD), led by clinicians at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and researchers at King’s College London, focuses on the psychological impact on patients living with diabetes in south east London.

The project aims to bridge the gap between mental, social and clinical care by bringing together psychiatrists, community support workers and trained volunteers with the existing multi-disciplinary diabetes team. It helps to improve the quality of care for patients and enable them to manage their conditions effectively.

3DFD is an example of the work being done at King’s Health Partners – a partnership between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts – to join up mental and physical healthcare for patients.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes are awarded by NHS England, and reward front-line innovation to improve patient care within the NHS.

13 projects each won a share of £650,000 in this year’s awards, and were presented with their prizes at a ceremony on Monday 23 February.

52 of the 340 applicants were shortlisted for the awards, and had to present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch to a group of experts.

The idea for 3DFD was born in 2010 after clinicians at King’s College Hospital realised that a complex combination of depression and social exclusion was preventing some Type 1 diabetes sufferers from accessing services in challenged parts of Lambeth and Southwark.

Following the introduction of 3DFD, King’s saw a 45% reduction in Emergency Department (ED) attendances among diabetes patients; 43% fewer hospital admissions; and 22% fewer bed-days in 12 months – saving the Trust the equivalent of £225,000, or £850 per patient.

The team behind 3DFD will use the £50,000 award funding to take the project on a step further, rolling it out to new areas and testing a new e-learning model that could allow diabetes teams to manage the early symptoms of depression in their patients.

Dr Carol Gayle, Clinical Lead for Diabetes at King’s and part of the team that set up 3DFD, said: “We are very proud that 3DFD has made such an improvement to the lives of people living with diabetes, and we are happy to have been able to extend this service to Lambeth and Southwark Community diabetes teams in addition to Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

“The model provides an exemplar to the benefits of being part of King’s Health Partners. We are delighted that the project has been recognised by NHS England in this way.

“Thanks to the funding we will receive from the award, we will be able to take the project to the next level, working with our colleagues at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to improve the care we are able to provide to individuals with severe mental health and diabetes in the local area – an opportunity we are very excited about.”

Dr Anne Doherty, Liaison Psychiatrist in Diabetes at King’s, added: "This initiative will build on our work in South London in integrating diabetes and mental health care – hopefully in 10 years this will be standard care."

Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director at NHS England, who presented the awards, said: “Britain has a proud history of discovery and innovation from the smallpox vaccine, to antibiotics, to the discovery and sequencing of DNA; from the clinical thermometer, to the ECG to MRI scanners.

“This year the innovation prizes showcase local innovations to improve care through the use of technology, infection control and rehabilitation, along with new ways of helping people with diabetes. Recognition and reward of local innovations not only promotes further innovation it is an important step in ensuring improvement across our NHS.”

Pictured: Dr Carol Gayle, Clinical Lead for Diabetes at King's and Dr Anne Doherty, Liaison Psychiatrist in Diabetes at King's, with their award.

Notes to editors

1. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at

2. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only six Department of Health-designated AHSCs in England and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our partnership brings together...

  • three of the UK’s leading NHS Foundation Trusts
  • a university ranked 19th in the world
  • 4.2m patient contacts each year
  • Over 36,000 staff
  • more than 25,000 students
  • a combined annual turnover of £3.1bn
  • clinical services provided across central and outer London locations, including nine mental health and physical healthcare hospitals and many community sites;
  • a comprehensive portfolio of excellent quality clinical services with international recognition in cancer, diabetes, mental health, regenerative medicine, cardiac and clinical neurosciences;
  • a major trauma centre and two hyper-acute stroke units.

... to advance health and wellbeing by integrating world-class research, care and teaching.

3. At King’s College Hospital we fundraise for the best in treatment, research and health education, leading-edge equipment and improving well-being in our communities. By uniting doctors, nurses, researchers and academics with our supporters and volunteers we can provide the best patient care that goes above and beyond. Find out more and support us at