Accessible education for diabetes healthcare professionals

Following record attendance at last year’s event, Diabetes Professional Care will return to Olympia, London, on 14-15 November. Health Business previews the show

The UK’s only free-to-attend, national diabetes conference and exhibition for healthcare professionals (HCPs) saw visitor numbers more than double at last year’s Diabetes Professional Care (DPC), to 3,235, compared to its launch in 2015. And DPC2018 is set to attract even more HCPs, eager to discover the latest advances, update their skills and knowledge, and interact with others working in diabetes care.   

With the rapid rise in new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes (T2D), along with the huge financial burden on the NHS and the worrying trend in people being diagnosed at a younger age (nearly half those diagnosed in the last 12 months were under 35), there is a greater need than ever for the accessible, real-world education that DPC provides.

In the UK, an estimated 4.6 million people are living with diabetes, with around 700 diagnosed every day, at a cost of £10 billion to the NHS – 10 per cent of its budget. Furthermore, an estimated 12.3 million people are at risk of developing T2D, even though 90 per cent of cases are largely preventable, with obesity the leading preventable cause in most cases.

Maggie Meer, DPC’s founder, said: “People with diabetes aren’t receiving the care and support they need to understand and manage their condition so they increase their risk of life changing complications. Better access to education is needed to address the decline in specialist diabetes staff, and the gaps in knowledge and skills of those working in primary and secondary care.”

Maggie launched DPC following her own experience of diabetes healthcare. Her objective was to help to improve the lives of people with diabetes by educating HCPs, and arming them with the skills and latest knowledge to better understand patients and provide the best possible care. She also wanted to address the budgetary constraints on NHS staff by running a free-to-attend event, and create an educational programme strong enough to provide HCPs with CPD credits.

DPC attracts a broad spectrum of HCPs with responsibility for delivering diabetes care – from commissioning services and products, through specialist diabetes teams, to GPs and nurses in primary care.

Conference to address key concerns
DPC2018 will again address the most pressing issues in diabetes healthcare – including childhood obesity, reversal of T2D, the psychological impact of the condition and care funding. The comprehensive, multi-stream conference will bring together top diabetes practitioners and thought leaders to share their learning and expertise, across eight separate streams: Commissioning for Better Diabetes Care; Prevention & Obesity in Practice; Diabetes Co-morbidities; Primary, Community & Specialist Care; Diabetes Technologies; Paediatric to Adolescent & Crossover Care; T1 Diabetes; and TREND-UK & Injection Technique Theatre.

Maggie says: “DPC2018 will create a unique environment where diabetes HCPs can learn about many topics and specialisations under one roof, on the same day. It provides an unmissable opportunity to access the information and expert advice they need to deliver care for the full range of medical issues involved in diabetes.”

The high calibre of speakers at DPC reflects the enormous regard in which the event is held. Opening the conference, NHS England’s Professor Jonathan Valabhji and Dr Partha Kar will present their keynote on ‘An update from NHS England Diabetes’, followed by a Q&A session. Professor Sir David Haslam, chair of NICE, will also deliver a keynote. In ‘Excellence across the care pathway: NICE and diabetes’, he will include information on how NICE’s recommendations for diabetes care can help visitors to commission and provide high quality, person-centred care.

In a DPC2018 exclusive, visitors will get a first look in the UK at outcomes data from a large study on the impact of SLGT2 inhibitors on diabetes patients with high CV risk. Cardiovascular outcomes with SGLT2 inhibitors in type 2 diabetes – update from AHA conference, will be presented by Prof John Wilding, professor of Medicine and Honorary Consultant Physician, Obesity and Endocrinology Research, Theme Lead for Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool.

Award-winning GP Dr David Unwin will also address the DPC2018 conference, sharing his practical ‘nuts and bolts’ approach to Type 2 diabetes drug-free remission: hope for primary care?

Commissioning for better diabetes care
Finding time to access information about the latest diabetes care pathways, best practice and innovations can be difficult for commissioners, prescribing advisors, and other healthcare managers and senior policy makers. So DPC2018 will include a dedicated Commissioning for Better Diabetes Care stream, with speakers presenting case studies and sharing outcomes data, to demonstrate best practice and cost-effectiveness in diabetes care.

Sessions will include: Innovation in care – cranking up care pathways for better outcomes in diabetes management; STPs – North West London – Reality of delivering transformation in diabetes care – toolkit for success; setting up an integrated care service in practice – one-stop session to help bring together the MDT and commissioning team; and how to deliver patient self-management and behaviour change at scale; 2017-18 outcomes data with key lessons for the NHS.

Focus on diabetes co-morbidities
Around 80 per cent of diabetes costs are associated with treating serious complications of the disease, including CV disease, amputations, sight loss and renal failure. So DPC has extended its Diabetes Co-morbidities stream to two days, with a dedicated focus on Renal Disease, Cardiology, Retinopathy, and Mental Health & Wellbeing. The stream will also feature The Office of the Chief Dental Officer (OCDO) England’s launch of its Diabetes Commissioning Standard for dental care of patients with, or at risk of T2D. In their session on The periodontitis-diabetes paradigm – launch of Diabetes Commissioning Standard, Janet Clarke and Professor Iain Chapple will explain what the standard is, and how it will benefit HCPs and people with, or at risk from, T2D.

Informal and interactive sessions
Alongside the conference, informal, interactive workshops and special features will give participants an opportunity to examine particular issues more closely while sharing real life examples and discussing practical solutions. Workshop sesions will include: diabetes management – considerations for patients with serious mental health/learning disability; and biosimilars – prescribing in practice.

At the TREND-UK & Injection Technique Theatre, experienced diabetes nurses will present a programme of interactive sessions on a variety of subjects, including substance misuse, dementia and end of life care.

Attendees will receive a DPC Injection Matters toolkit, one of several toolkits available for the first time at DPC2018. DPC Toolkits are handy, takeaway ‘cheat sheets’ that visitors can use back in practice and share with their teams. Other sessions where they will be available include Consulting Skills, and Mental Health & Wellbeing,  

Launched last year, the dedicated DPC Foot & Wound Clinic will return to DPC2018 with the latest information and practical skills to help HCPs support patients in looking after their feet and lower limbs. Led by Graham Bowen and his clinical podiatry team at Solent NHS Trust, sessions will take participants from basic screening to more advanced care, helping to address the urgent need for better education on diabetic foot disease.
The opportunity to network with colleagues is another key attraction of DPC, and the Diabetes Village will again provide a focal point where visitors can share their concerns and experiences over a complimentary coffee or tea.

Register now for free
Feedback from DPC’s visitors helps to ensure the programme continues to cover their education pathways. Their responses to the DPC2017 post-event survey were extremely positive, with 98 per cent saying they’d attend again, 98 per cent saying they view DPC as place to learn about new and existing innovations and products, and 95 per cent saying DPC met their learning objectives.