A dissemination event about the role of Skype consultations in a Diabetes service – Upton Park 9:30-13:30

From a email sent to colleagues, I know nothing more about this than what’s below… Jo

Via the Barts Health NHS Trust


Diabetes Review, Engagement and Management via Skype

Are web-based consultations a useful tool for supporting patient self-management in diabetes?


18 March 2015

West Ham United Football Club, Boleyn Ground
Green Street, Upton Park, London E13 9AZ

Focus & Aims
The DREAMS study, led by Barts Health NHS Trust, explored the role of remote (‘Skype’) consultations in patients who find it difficult to engage with and attend diabetes services. The research, which ran between January 2012 and December 2014, aimed to provide a better understanding of how the introduction of remote consultations alter patterns of service use, the experience of remote consultations from the perspective of patients and service staff, and the challenges of introducing remote consultations in a clinical setting.

The purpose of the workshop is to share and discuss key findings from the DREAMS study. The event will focus on the personal experience of patients and service staff using Skype consultations, quantitative and qualitative outcomes that informed its implementation, and the key lessons and recommendations for other services.

The workshop is organised by the research team involved in the DREAMS study, which was funded by the Health Foundation.

Presentations will be by clinical and research staff, and patients involved in the DREAMS study. Lunch will be provided after presentation and discussion sessions

Presentation topics will include:

  • Background and aims of the DREAMS study
  • How the introduction of Skype altered service use
  • Patient and service staff views and experience of Skype consultations
  • Guidance and recommendations on implementation and use of Skype in clinic settings


Registration Information
The event is free but places are limited, so to book a place email Joe Wherton at j.wherton@qmul.ac.uk , before March 6th. For more information about the event please contact Joe Wherton on 020 7882 2512 or Desiree Campbell-Richards on 020 7363 8569.

How many people have diabetes in the UK? 2013-2014 figures

Here’s a table I wrote in Word, with footnote references, and I’ve copied and pasted it here and hope it all works… this just includes people over the age of 17 and those who are diagnosed and registered.

Nation Numbers of people >17 with diabetes
England 2,814,004[1]
Northern Ireland 81,867[2]
Scotland 259,986[3]
Wales 177,212[4]
TOTAL 3,333,069

[1] England: Cell M21 in tab ‘DM’ in QOF 2013-14: Prevalence, achievements and exceptions at region and nation level for England from Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – 2013-14 (published 28 October 2014).

[2] Northern Ireland: Cell F14 in “Diabetes Indicator (MS Excel 77KB)”, from Achievement Data at Local Commissioning Group (LCG) Level 2013/14 (30 September 2014) . Previous QOF info.

[3] Scotland: Cell i20 in tab ‘by QOF register’ in file Prevalence reported from QOF registers (practices with any contract type) [xls] from Register and prevalence data at Scotland, NHS Board and CHP level, via Quality & Outcomes Framework (QOF), data for 2013-2014.

[4] Wales: Cell E15 in QOF data summary for Wales and local health boards, 2013-14 from StatsWales’ GMS Contract page.

More on the individual stats

Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in Wales)

There appear to be 177,212 people with diabetes in Wales and there were 173,299 last year.

How I got that number
To find this figure I looked at StatsWales’ GMS Contract page, which has a long bullet-pointed list of options. I chose the QOF data summary for Wales and local health boards, 2013-14 spreadsheet which gave me, in cell E15, the number I was after (hopefully!).

Picking the right number
What about all the other numbers? There are many of them in that Excel file, however the intersection of ‘Wales’ (ie ‘all’) and ‘patients on register’ seems right, and it tallies closely with last year’s published figure, as well as being reasonably similar to earlier published figures. I was briefly confused by StatsWales’ Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) points by local health board and register which suggested a much lower figure of 47,058 but I realise now this is referring to points not people. Also cross-referencing this to a reference, in 2006, of there being 150,000 people with diabetes in Wales at that time made me realise I was barking up the wrong tree. But it’s easy to pick the wrong number from a range of numbers when you don’t know for certain which is the correct one, so always worth double-checking I think!

More in this series

Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in Northern Ireland)

There are 81,867  people with diabetes in Northern Ireland, as of data released on 30 September 2014. Last year it was 79,072.

QOF roundup (see links below for how I got these figures)
England – 2,814,004
Scotland – 259,986
Northern Ireland – 81,867
Wales – not got there yet

After my customary faffing about and looking in vain in what turned out to be the wrong place I eventually found the right place to start looking. Here’s the routemap to get there (obviously the last link will take you straight there, but like me you might do this every year and welcome instructions. I know I will this time next year 😉

To double-check / sanity check I took the number (81,867) and googled it + diabetes, and found an official-looking article that also suggested it was correct. Of course we could both be wrong 😉

Further reading
Statistical press release – Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Information 2013/14 (30 September 2014) Northern Ireland Executive

More in this series

Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in Scotland)

tl;dr – 259,986 according to 2013-2014 QOF figures for Scotland. Last year it was 252,599.

I’m foraging for figures from the QOF (Quality and Outcomes Framework) from the four UK nations and I’m very grateful to previous me for having left instructions on how to do this. Staring at a list of Excel files is fairly bewildering at the best of times. Here’s what I wrote in a note to myself, around this time last year…

“Data from 2012/13 QOF Prevalence Data, look for Prevalence reported from QOF registers (practices with any contract type) [180KB], file is called QOF_Scot_201213_Boards_all_prevalence.xls and in Cell I21 the number is given as 252,599.”

I’ve found that a better location to start is the landing page for all of Scotland’s QOF data which presents links to the latest figures at the bottom of the page with info on how to find previous ‘editions’ in the archive.

I chose the fifth link,”Register and prevalence data at Scotland, NHS Board and CHP level“, in the list and then “Prevalence reported from QOF registers (practices with any contract type) [180KB]” which opens up a spreadsheet with three tabs. Look at the third tab, “by QOF register” and the relevant info is in cell i21 – it’s 259,986 people registered with diabetes.

As always I tend to find that the figures listed in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey differ slightly. Its landing page has the full listing of SDSes going back to 2002.

The latest SDS is 2013 data (I think it was published in July, but difficult to be certain without asking someone) and it reported that 268,154 people had diabetes in Scotland at the end of 2013. Clearly the numbers don’t match and the obvious thing would be that the SDS includes children whereas QOF is people over the age of 17. However that doesn’t quite work because there seem to be around 3,000 children with diabetes in Scotland. Hmm.

So the numbers don’t match… but I’ve decided to make my peace with that 😉

But if you can shed light on this… let me (@JoBrodie) know, thanks 🙂

More in this series

Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in England)

tl;dr – 2,814,004 people.

Every year the new ‘QOF’ figures are released in October. The figures have purpose A (used to pay GPs according to the number of patients registered at their practice and who receive certain care targets) but I use them for purpose B (how many people are registered as having diabetes?).

Generally it’s people over the age of 17 who are registered and it doesn’t tell you how many have type 1 or type 2 diabetes (but there are sensible guesstimates of around 10-15% have type 1).

Last year the figures, for England, gave 2,703,044 people with diabetes.

The new QOF figures were released on 28 October 2014 (for 2013-2014 data) and you can find all the files here http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB15751 – there are 23 files. I’ll save you the search, the relevant one is: QOF 2013-14: Prevalence, achievements and exceptions at region and nation level for England [.xlsx] ie the filename is qof-1314-prev-ach-exc-region-nation.

Once opened look for tab DM and you can see (in cell M21) that there are now 2,814,004 people with diabetes in England. If you disagree with me, do let me (@JoBrodie) know!

And now for the other nations… 🙂

More in this series

My vine for @JDRFUK’s #TopT1Science – showing what type 1 #diabetes is

I’m volunteering one day a week at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) office in London (they have offices around the UK, and around the world) doing things like updating statistics and other sciencey stuff. This week we’ve got a Summer Science Show going on, where staff and supporters are sharing different kinds of information about type 1 diabetes on Facebook and Twitter, tagged with #TopT1Science.

Today’s challenge is to show what type 1 diabetes is via a photo or a vine (Vine is a free app that lets you record six seconds of video – you can record it all in one go or do ‘stop-start’ and make a little film).

I’ve never used Vine before but thought I’d give it a go. It took me a few goes to work out how to get it to start recording (there are lots of buttons on the screen and none of them seem to do that) but eventually I discovered that just touching the screen made it start recording. After a few false starts I figured out what went were and how it all worked. And… ta da!

OK it’s my first vine, be gentle 🙂


What’s going on here?
A few years ago I was at an event in Newcastle at an event about cell replacement therapies (eg stem cell transplants) and one of the activities for visitors was to make a cell in a Petri dish with plasticine, using different colours for the different bits of the cell. I was talking about research into islet cell transplantation and decided that instead of making a single insulin-producing beta cell I’d create one of the islets of Langerhans that’s found inside the pancreas. These contain several hundred beta cells, and lots of other cell types too, but in type 1 diabetes the beta cells are destroyed by the immune system. There aren’t enough left to produce insulin and so blood glucose levels begin to rise and the symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear.

I wanted to recreate this for #TopT1Science and thought I’d use what I had to hand in the office (no Petri dishes or plasticine). My islet today is made out of a delicious M&S snack* which had lots of things of different colours in it.

If it were an islet of Langerhans, what would it look like once the immune system had destroyed the beta cells (portrayed here by the feta cheese)? Well, a bit like this – with most of the feta cheese gone. Here’s a before and after screenshot.

Before: Islet of Langerhans with a variety of cells present (feta = beta)

After: Islet of Langerhans post-autoimmune destruction of beta cells (feta gone!)


I’m not sure how successful the vine is at conveying ‘what type 1 diabetes is’ but storyboarding it was fun, also eating the props afterwards.

*Tomatoes, Cucumber, Feta Cheese and Olives (with a basil and mint oil dressing) – yum.

Here’s some more information about the different type 1 diabetes research projects funded by JDRF in the UK.

Pancreas and islet facts

  • An adult pancreas contains around 1,000,000 islets which are tiny (Wikipedia says 0.2mm in diameter). Despite this huge number they make up only about 2% of the entire pancreas. The islets are scattered throughout the pancreas and contain several thousand cells clumped together to form a sphere. Their job is to produce a variety of hormones, including insulin. The remaining 98% of the pancreas produces some of the enzymes that digest our food. Hormones are sent directly into our bloodstream, digestive enzymes go into the gut.
  • Islets are pretty complex things – they contain many different cell types, arranged in a particular way, and have their own blood and nerve supply. The insulin-producing beta cells make up the bulk of any given islet and tend to be clustered in the middle – these are the cells that are destroyed by the immune system in type 1 diabetes (which is an autoimmune disorder and separate from type 2 diabetes).



IDDT – West Midlands #Diabetes Study Day – Birmingham, 16th May for #hcps

Aimed at healthcare professionals (hcps).

West Midlands Diabetes Study Day

Friday, 16th May, 2014
The Paragon Hotel, 145 Alcester Street, Birmingham B12 0PJ
9am to 4.15pm

Organised by the InDependent Diabetes Trust (IDDT), this is the second in a brand new series of Diabetes Study Days, which aim to inform, inspire and educate the healthcare community.

Programme and booking details (PDF).

ISO 15197:2013 & #diabetes – will new stds for blood glucose meter accuracy affect what’s on the market?

Is the new ISO 15197:2013 for blood glucose meter accuracy likely to bump a few BG meters off the market? 

ISO 15197:2013: In vitro diagnostic test systems — Requirements for blood-glucose monitoring systems for self-testing in managing diabetes mellitus”

The new (I say new, they came out last year but I’ve been out of the ‘diabetosphere’ for a while) guidelines can be found here but they cost CHF 154,000 which is a wee bit more than I want to cough up to read them. You can preview some of the document here.

The ISO’s own blog has written about this “More accurate self-testing results for diabetes patients with new ISO standard“.

Blood glucose meter and testing strips

See also

“The reliability of self-monitored glucose values is a prerequisite for an efficient and safe approach to treat patients to their target. Accuracy of SMBG, therefore, is a key aspect in this regard.9 Recently, accuracy requirements have been tightened. According to the revised ISO standard 15197:2013, 95% of the blood glucose (BG) results shall fall within ±15 mg/dl of the reference method at BG concentrations < 100 mg/dl and within ±15% at BG concentrations ≥ 100 mg/dl.10 The less restrictive ISO standard 15197:2003 loses its validity after a transitional period of 3 years.11

Source: Schnell and Erbach (2014) Impact of a Reduced Error Range of SMBG in Insulin-treated Patients in GermanyJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology February 5, 2014, doi: 10.1177/1932296813516206

There’s also been some discussion on the children-with-diabetes forum: Accuracy of blood glucose meters draws scrutiny childrenwithdiabetes (21 May 2013).

See also FDA to ISO 15197: Not good enough The Westgard Rules blog (15 January 2014)

“FDA believes that the criteria set forth in the ISO 15197 standard do not adequately protect patients using BGMS devices in professional settings, and does not recommend using these criteria for BGMS devices.” – quote excerpted from recent FDA draft guideline on blood glucose meters (line 277).





[Job, London] @DiabetesUK, Clinical Advisor x2, c£40k, clos 8 July 2013

You get to go on the telly and stuff as well 🙂

Diabetes UK
Clinical Advisor x2

Job description: Job_Description-Clinical_Advisors_x2

Job Tenure:
» 1 x permanent fulltime post
» 1 x fulltime fixed term contract (until March 2014)

Location: Camden, London
Salary:  Circa £40,000 per annum
Application closing date:  Monday 08 July 2013 (9.00am)
Interview date: July 2013 TBC

Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. Diabetes UK is the country’s largest charity devoted to the care, treatment and improvement of the quality of life for people with diabetes.  Our success in supporting people is underpinned by our clear and consistent values relating to high performance, integrity, empowering, valuing others and working together.

Are you passionate about improving diabetes care?  Are you looking for an exciting and rewarding post?

An exciting opportunity has arisen for two clinical advisors to join the Policy and Care Improvement Directorate – one permanent post to cover a retirement and one fixed term contract providing maternity cover.  We are looking for motivated, innovative, enthusiastic team players with excellent communication and organisation skills to join our dynamic team. 

The clinical team works closely with the Head of Care to create the conditions to improve standards of diabetes care and the lives of people with and at risk diabetes.   The team is responsible for the production of high quality clinical and policy information that reflect Diabetes UK’s health agenda and how it relates to people living with diabetes and people working within the field of diabetes care. 

We are looking for a Diabetes Specialist Nurse and/or Specialist Dietitian with at least 4 years clinical experience and at least one years experience working in a diabetes specialist area.  You will have a sound knowledge of diabetes and challenges facing diabetes care and be able to show evidence of professional development. 

The work is varied and no two days are the same.  The post-holder will develop consistent, high quality information and education interventions, share clinical knowledge and indentify needs for care programmes and tools for people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals.  You will be an expert clinical resource for internal colleagues and network with external agencies impacting on the care of people with and at risk of diabetes.

The applicant should be dynamic, forward thinking and work imaginatively.  You should be able to work independently and as part of a team and be flexible while working to tight deadlines. 

In return, we provide Group Personal Pension scheme, Childcare Voucher scheme, flexi-time working, Life Assurance/Death in Service Benefits and enhanced Annual Leave entitlement.

For more information and to apply please visit www.i-appoint.co.uk/diabetesuk and complete our downloadable application form. Select the appropriate vacancy and click ‘Apply For Job’. If not registered already you will be required to register on the i-appoint website.

Please ensure you address the essential criteria in your application’s supporting statement. All applications must be made using the form – we cannot accept CVs.