Diabetes service nationally recognised

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Lyell McEwin Hospital’s Diabetes Service and specialised Foot Clinic have become the first in the State to both receive national accreditation.

Endocrinologist, Dr Elaine Pretorius, said the global Type 2 diabetes pandemic is one of the biggest chronic disease challenges facing our population.

“Across the board there’s a need for a strong focus on continuing to innovate so patients receive the most efficient and care, and it’s certainly a priority for the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) team,” Dr Pretorius said.  

“National accreditation, as well as now being part of the national Foot Network, allows NALHN to be part of a coordinated approach to prioritising high quality and accessible foot assessment and management. 

“The High Risk Foot Clinic is an integral part of the services, as diabetes-related foot disease in Australia is a common outcome, affecting 15-25 per cent of sufferers. 

“For the 200 patients we see every month, it means they have access to a tertiary standard service, with staff continually striving to provide care above the national benchmark.” 

Head of Diabetes and Endocrine Services, Dr Anthony Zimmermann, said NALHN’s diabetes team has strong focus on professional education, quality improvement and research.

“Some of the research projects currently underway include the Diabetic foot Infection longitudinal Outcome (DINGO) trial looking into growing new skin for diabetic ulcers that have not healed,” Dr Zimmermann said.

“Our researchers are also conducting a trial looking at outcomes in patients with diabetic foot disease in areas of social disadvantage.

“We are also conducting ongoing trials of new medications into Type 2 diabetes, which includes a new insulin, medications that only have to be taken once a week, and some drugs that lower glucose.”

NALHN’s Diabetes Service has received two SA Health awards for innovative practice in two years. 

The interdisciplinary diabetes clinic at Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Health Service has resulted in higher attendance, as patients no longer needing to attend hospital-based clinics and can receive care in a culturally safe environment.

In 2017 the team was recognised for introducing a program that reduced the outpatient wait list by 95 per cent in 12 months, improved access to appointments, and also facilitated early hospital discharge and hospital admission avoidance.

The High-Risk Foot Clinic was part of a six month pilot to receive accreditation from the National Australian Diabetes Centre. 

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