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PCDS Newsletter: Much achieved – more to do!

News of the Society’s Committee Member election, Colin Kenny’s comments on the Society’s inaugural conference, and an introduction to practice-based commissioning by Azhar Farooqi.

PCDS: Much achieved – more to do!
The Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) Committee and all those involved with the inaugural
conference of the Society were delighted with the success of the event (held at The Belfry, Warwickshire, on 11–12 November 2005). Nearly 400 delegates enjoyed a vibrant and mixed programme tailored to their needs.

Over an 18-month period, the PCDS Steering Group built a programme which would represent important elements of diabetes work in the community, while integrating all the key members of the primary care team. A useful mixture of short presentations, symposia and masterclasses gave everyone attending an opportunity to feel part of our new Society.

We were delighted to meet so many of the delegates, all of whom enjoyed themselves and welcomed the opportunity to network informally over the 2 days. Initial evaluations of the conference have been very enthusiastic and positive and will help with the planning of future meetings.

This initial success, coupled with a new, enlarged Committee, who were democratically elected
during the conference, has inspired us to look forward to 2006 and beyond. Another national conference seems the obvious way to go (see the box below and page 203 for more information), as does a useful discussion around the way to develop our website ( and use it to serve our members more fully.

As the outgoing Acting Chairman of the Society, it is with pleasure that I welcome Dr Martin Hadley-Brown (GP, Thetford, Norfolk) as the new Chairman of the PCDS, and the newly elected Committee Members.

Much achieved – more to do!

Colin Kenny, Outgoing Acting Chairman and Committee Member, PCDS, and GP, Dromore, County Down

Developing practice-led commissioning
There have been significant changes in the delivery of care for people with diabetes over the last decade or so. We have seen the development of more cohesive and skilled primary care teams and the promotion of evidence-based practice by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (also illustrated by the Quality and Outcomes Framework part of the new General Medical Services contract [British Medical Association, 2003]). Together with the impetus of the National Service Framework, these changes have served to enhance the role of primary care in diabetes service provision.

This trend is set to continue with the arrival of practice-led commissioning under a major strategic change in the NHS; money will much more closely follow patients, via ‘payments by results’, and practices who are active in commissioning will have incentives to develop and utilise services in the community setting. This provides opportunities but also dangers for patient services.

The opportunities include the possibility of more cost effective services closer to patients. Risks
include the destabilisation of existing services, conflicts between services and professionals, and a possibility that services are not fit for the purpose, particularly if the main driver is seen as a financial one.

Clearly, those commissioning services will benefit from a framework which identifies the key elements of an acceptable service – accessibility, quality assurance, cost-effectiveness and the inclusion of patient choice. 

It is up to the Department of Health together with the main professional and patient groups to provide guidance, and help ensure that commissioning develops in a way that benefits all people with diabetes.

Azhar Farooqi, GP,  Leicester

PCDS elects new Committee Members at inaugural conference
Fourteen members were elected to the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) Committee in an election that took place at the Society’s inaugural national conference at The Belfry, Warwickshire, on 11–12 November 2005. The new Committee succeeds the original Steering Group, which, over the last 18 months, set up the Society and worked towards its inaugural conference. The new Committee Members are as follows.

  • Francesca Arundel, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Portsmouth
  • Azhar Farooqi, GP, Leicester
  • Roger Gadsby, GP, Nuneaton
  • Martin Hadley-Brown, GP, Thetford
  • Gwen Hall, Diabetes Specialist
  • Nurse in Primary Care/Clinical
  • Educator, Haslemere
  • Alan Hayes, GP, Isle of Wight
  • Sue Holmes, GP, Cambridge
  • Eugene Hughes, GP, Isle of Wight
  • Brian Karet, GP, Bradford
  • Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore
  • Kamlesh Khunti, GP, Leicester
  • Richard Quigley, GP, Glasgow
  • Jackie Reynolds, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Cambridge
  • Julie Widdowson, Diabetes Educator/Practitioner, Norfolk.

After the election results were announced, the new Committee Members held their first meeting, at which Dr Hadley-Brown was nominated as Committee Chairman, Gwen Hall was nominated Vice Chairman, and Roger Gadsby was nominated to remain as the Society’s Treasurer. At the meeting, it was agreed that there should be representation from a practice nurse on the Committee.


British Medical Association (BMA; 2003) Investing in General Practice: The new General Medical Services Contract. BMA, London

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