An innovative cardio-diabetes outpatient service is helping to reduce recurring heart attacks in people with diabetes. The “one-stop shop” approach provides joined-up care in the acute setting before handing over care to GP services.
Cardiovascular-related complications are common in people living with diabetes. Restoring and extending the benefits of secondary prevention measures in cardiovascular disease is a key priority for NHS England.
The new cardio-diabetes in-reach and outpatient programme was created under a collaboration between United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) and Boehringer Ingelheim. The clinical teams at the Lincolnshire Heart Centre and the Diabetes Unit at ULHT developed and established a streamlined service to improve and optimise the management and care of patients with diabetes who are admitted with heart attack or acute coronary syndrome.
Previously, some people had been treated for the conditions separately, which resulted in repeated reviews and missed opportunities for optimised care. Under the new arrangements, patients with diabetes on the Trust’s cardiology wards receive input from both diabetes and cardiac specialist teams. This cross-disciplinary expertise provides the opportunity to optimise medical care for each condition with the latest recommended therapies, and to improve outcomes.
By making it easier for individuals to manage their conditions following discharge (and assisting them to understand how they are linked), the joined-up approach helps to prevent future emergencies, such as heart attack, heart failure or cardiac arrest.
The optimisation of care in the acute setting may also alleviate pressure on primary care services by reducing the subsequent need for GP appointments.