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Diabetes is one of the most pressing health challenges facing our population.

Around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

There are currently 3.4 million people with Type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year. 

Diabetes prevalence is much higher in the Black Country and West Birmingham compared to the rest of England, with over 9% of people in Sandwell and West Birmingham living with the condition compared to 6.4% inEngland as a whole. 

One in six of all people in hospital have diabetes – while diabetes is often not the reason for admission, they often need a longer stay in hospital, are more likely to be re admitted and their risk of dying is higher.

The cost of Diabetes on the health and care system is large but the cost to those living with the condition is even greater.

Our vision is:

  • Through addressing wider determinants of health, delivery of lifestyle services and delivery the National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP), slow the rate of increase of Type 2 diabetes .
  • Identify people living with diabetes early and provide good quality care including testing of programmes to reverse diabetes (i.e. low calorie diet programmes).
  • Improve diabetes treatment and care through improvements in primary care, and structured education.
  • Improve diabetes treatment and care for those at highest risk of complication by increasing integration between Primary Care Networks, community services and acute care.
  • Respond effective to complications from diabetes through improvement in in-patients services.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. We are committed to preventing diabetes where we can through our Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Approximately 100,000 (82%) of the estimated 120,000 people living with diabetes in the Black Country and West Birmingham have been identified, compared to 80% in England. We will focus as a system to maintain and increase the number of people we identify through our diabetes screening to ensure they get the support they need.

Working together we aim to also:

  • Support for people living with diabetes to achieve recommended treatment target
  • Support people to access our expanded range of structured education
  • Address the inequalities that exist in the number of people recorded as living with Diabetes from socio-economically disadvantaged groups

In The News

  • Liz delighted at inclusion in New Year Honours for COVID-19 work

    A primary care nurse advisor from NHS Black Country and West Birmingham has been included in the New Year Honours List for her contribution to patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Liz Corrigan is General Practice Nursing Professional Lead for the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and has worked in various nursing roles in the local area over the last 25 years. Liz, who lives in Wolverhampton, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal fo...

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  • Local health leaders show support for carers during Carers Week 2020

    Heath bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are celebrating the role of carers as part of national Carers Week, especially because of the important contributions they have made during the coronavirus pandemic. This week (8-14 June 2020) is Carers Week – a national awareness initiative highlighting the important work being done by carers in the community – and local health leaders in the Black Country and West Birmingham are supporting this important campaign. Jonathan Fellows, Indepe...

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  • Health chiefs encourage people to visit pharmacies first

    As part of the national Help Us, Help You campaign, health bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are encouraging people to visit their pharmacy for advice on minor injuries and ailments. Research shows that 27 percent of general practice appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere. Approximately 18 million of these could be treated through self-care and community pharmacies. Many pharmacies are open late, making it easier than ever to get advice. They can advise yo...

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  • NHS rapid response team helps frail older patients

    Against a background of an ageing population and increasing frailty, one NHS Trust has identified opportunities to provide a service targeted at this patient group. The initiative is designed to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions through the emergency front door and keep frail older people safe in their own homes.  Emma Hibbs, Advanced Physiotherapist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, explains: “We know that nationally around 50% of the population aged 65+ live with...

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  • Healthier Futures partnership secures funding to develop system-wide digital app

    The Healthier Futures partnership (Black Country & West Birmingham STP) has been awarded NHS funding following a successful pitch, to develop a healthcare app which will increase access to services for the local population. The NHS has identified funding to accelerate worthwhile projects across the country, inviting bids from all systems. A very limited number of organisations were invited to pitch to their respective regional digital teams and the Healthier Futures partnership has been su...

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  • It’s all aboard for popular NHS event

    The next stops for a popular NHS event have been confirmed in the Black Country. More than 200 people flocked to the big NHS red bus in Walsall City Centre to bag advice and freebies to help them keep well this Winter. NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the Black Country are behind the events, which aim to raise awareness of the simple steps people can take to keep well during winter. The importance of getting the flu vaccine, how keeping warm can help keep illnesses at bay and reminding...

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  • Check in on vulnerable people this Christmas

    People in the Black Country and West Birmingham are being advised to wrap up warm over the winter season and to look out for vulnerable people during the Christmas and New Year period. Local people are being asked to remember older relatives, friends and neighbours as well as other vulnerable people at this time of year. The over 65s and those with long-term health conditions or disabilities are at increased risk of illness during the winter months. It is important to regularly check in on ol...

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  • Black Country mental health employment service to expand support to local people

    A local service that helps people with severe mental illness to find employment, has successfully obtained additional funding from NHS England to expand its service in the Black Country. The NHS Five Year Forward View (2014) recognises that the employment rate of people with severe and enduring mental health problems is the lowest of all disability groups at just 7%. Furthermore, mental health problems now account for more than twice the number of Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity...

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  • Dr Doreen Tipton says get the flu jab!

    Doreen Tipton joins health professionals to urge patients across the Black and West Birmingham to get their free flu jabs before the winter sets in. In a video launched by Futureproof Health, the Black Country comic icon Doreen Tipton, played by actress Gill Jordan reminds residents that it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families with a free flu jab. Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness fo...

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  • Service to cut A&E visits from “frequent callers” in the Black Country a Success

    Vulnerable patients are benefitting from a new frequent user project across the Black Country and West Birmingham. A one-year evaluation of the project commissioned by Dudley CCG and Dudley CVS has shown that in those patients who frequently attend A&E, there was a 33% reduction in attendances and a 41% reduction in inpatient admissions, saving the NHS more than £500,000. Delivered by the Dudley CVS Integrated Plus social prescribing team and match-funded by Dudley CCG and the Department o...

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