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.