Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Next steps for diabetes prevention and improving patient outcomes in England - innovation, reducing variation, and the impact of key policy developments

Morning, Monday, 26th April 2021


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on diabetes prevention and patient outcomes - as well as the policy, organisational and clinical priorities for improvement.


The discussion is taking place in the context of the Diabetes: GIRFT Programme National Specialty Report - with its recommendations including multidisciplinary teams for footcare and inpatient care, as well as reducing rates of avoidable harm - as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk it poses for people with Diabetes.


Sessions in the agenda include:

  • improving outcomes - progress in for diabetes patients and moving forward following challenges presented by COVID-19
  • technology - latest developments, and reducing variation in its utilisation within diabetes care
  • innovation - maintaining the momentum in diabetes care, with discussion on effectiveness and safety, supporting remote self-management, and delivering digital-enabled benefits to patients
  • research - latest developments, opportunities for collaboration and improving the pathway to adoption
  • care and service delivery - priorities improvement and progress on integrating care, expanding multidisciplinary teams, effective care pathways, sharing best practice, and reducing inequality in access
  • prevention - next steps for moving forward improvements in public health and nutrition, and addressing health inequalities

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from the DHSC and HSE.


The agenda

  • Progress in improving outcomes for diabetes patients and moving forward following challenges presented by COVID-19
  • Latest understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on patients with diabetes
  • Reducing variation in the utilisation of technology within diabetes care
  • Maintaining the momentum of innovation in diabetes care - effectiveness and safety, supporting remote self-management, and delivering digital-enabled benefits to patients
  • Diabetes research - latest developments, opportunities for collaboration and improving the pathway to adoption
  • Opportunities for improving diabetes care and service delivery - progress on integrating care, expanding multidisciplinary teams, effective care pathways, sharing best practice, and reducing inequality in access
  • Next steps for driving the prevention of diabetes and addressing health inequalities

Key areas for discussion:

Key policy developments - assessing progress, effectiveness and coordination:

  • the NHS Long Term Plan - progress in meeting the ambitions it outlines for diabetes, as well as how remote support and management strategies have advanced during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • the Tackling Obesity strategy:
    • assessing proposed restrictions - the impact of restricting promotions on foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) on tackling obesity
    • coordination with existing policy - how its implementation can best coordinate with ongoing policy on diabetes prevention and treatment
    • messaging - priorities for supporting people to make healthy choices and improving access to weight management services, with an extra £100m being made available for these services
    • implications of the government White Paper on health and social care in updating the Tackling Obesity strategy
  • Advancing our health - and prevention of type 2 diabetes

COVID-19 and diabetes - what has been learned to inform prevention and treatment going forward:

  • impact - of lockdowns on diabetes prevention, with potentially more risk-awareness but disrupted access to healthy lifestyle choices, diagnosis, referrals, advice and care, and prescriptions
  • hospital care through the pandemic - the impact on patients with limited or no access to a multidisciplinary team 
  • dealing with increased risk associated with diabetes:
    • assessing factors including age, treatment, recent results and complications
    • with 1.7m more people, including some with diabetes, added to the shielding list and prioritised for a vaccine in February, while Diabetes UK and JDRF call for further expansion
    • with Diabetes UK and JDRF calling for more people with diabetes to be put on the shielding list so they don’t have to risk their health to work
  • long COVID:
    • understanding the impact of diabetes - and the risk of suffering more protracted effects of coronavirus
    • identifying priorities for research - looking into its effects and management strategies for diabetes sufferers
    • priorities for prevention - understanding the possible link between contracting COVID-19 and developing Type 1 diabetes
  • public engagement - health messaging and intervention, with the pandemic having brought improving public health higher up on the agenda
  • health inequalities - supporting disproportionately affected socio-economic and ethnic groups, both in prevention of diabetes and in accessing care and support
  • innovation - remote self-monitoring and its implementation, as well as the way forward for levelling up support for digitally-disadvantaged people
  • use of telemedicine - development of best practice, patient choice, identifying barriers to use and assessing whether telemedicine is able to successfully identify diabetes complications, and the best approach for use going forward after the pandemic

Research - priorities for prevention, diagnosis, cure, treatment and care:

  • funding and collaboration - including strategies for mitigating the impact of the transition from the EU on diabetes research in the UK, and for rebuilding and widening joint working
  • pandemic disruption and recovery:
    • progress and priorities for restarting halted projects, while understanding the new research priorities for advancing diabetes treatment
    • latest thinking for Type 1 diabetes - as well as opportunities for collaborating on research on other autoimmune conditions
  • adoption and patient access:
    • accelerating adoption - what can be learned from processes involved in expediting research that can be used to streamline the delivery of improvement in patient outcomes
    • advances in remote support - such as the GP ‘smart’ tool piloted in Swansea, which allows diabetes patients to share their data with their healthcare professionals
    • new treatments - assessing developments, including the possible use of glulisine, following findings from Imperial College London and others on its effectiveness compared to insulin, as well as the possibility of using zinc for new treatments
  • transition from the EU - the conference is timed to assess early indications of the impact on research collaboration, staffing, access to medicines and equipment, and medicine regulation
  • raising awareness - the importance of early diagnosis, and the role of effective messaging to the public to support identifying symptoms early

Service delivery - opportunities for improving care for patients with diabetes, and next steps for:

  • reducing variation:
    • improving quality of diabetes care and the utilisation of technology across the country, and how this can be built upon going forward
    • with Diabetes UK calling for an increase in funding for diabetes technology to avoid a postcode lottery 
  • improving access to diabetes professionals - including development of multidisciplinary foot care and diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams, as well as workforce training and funding
  • personalised care - involving the patient in their care, enabling the effective management of the condition within their lifestyle and the provision of mental health support
  • impact of technology in improving care - including the improved management support for pregnant women and people with learning disabilities
  • improving diabetes technology uptake - improved diabetes technology training, CCGs reaching lower socio-economic groups locally, financial concerns, longer appointments, and calls for a national register to measure uptake
  • integrating care for diabetes patients:
    • local systems - latest developments in coordinated support, and how improved outcomes can be achieved
    • care across the whole pathway - supporting primary care as diabetes care becomes closer to home 
  • supporting areas with poor outcomes - ways of sharing best practice and the role of clinical networks in local areas in improving inequalities, access and providing strategic leadership

The policy context:

  • Diabetes: GIRFT Programme National Specialty Report - with recommendations for:
    • multidisciplinary footcare teams in every NHS trust
    • an improvement of hospital care with multidisciplinary inpatient teams
    • reducing avoidable harm, with electronic prescribing being a key suggestion so that medicines are correctly used
  • COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes - with diabetes being identified as a key risk factor in experiencing more severe health effects
  • COVID-19 vaccine approval - the JCVI having advised earlier this year that those with an underlying health condition, including diabetes, should receive the vaccine after the priority age groups
  • The prevalence of long COVID symptoms and COVID-19 complications - ONS statistics showing correlation between having diabetes and suffering more seriously from COVID-19
  • the Tackling Obesity strategy:
    • including interventions to support people to make healthy choices and improve access to weight management support
    • aiming to make people less at risk of conditions linked to the more severe effects of COVID-19
    • New specialised support to help those living with obesity to lose weight - with £100m being made available for weight management services that help patients maintain a healthy weight
  • the Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s green paper - with improvements to the Diabetes Prevention Programme, and expansion locally, including:
    • increasing digital access to diabetes prevention and weight management support, with the rollout of the Living Well Taking Control provider offering access to the programme
    • improving access to digital methods of managing diabetes
    • the Healthier You service - with renewed awareness campaigning from the NHS, including the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk Tool, as part of the type 2 diabetes prevention programme
  • Fast online access to world leading NHS weight loss advice - expansion of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, with almost 300,000 people having checked their risk of diabetes
  • NHS launches new online support for people with diabetes - increased online support made available for people with diabetes during the pandemic
  • Thousands to benefit from soups and shakes diet on the NHS - as part of a one year plan, including access to total dietary replacement products and support on exercise
  • Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all - the government white paper with proposals on new steps to tackle obesity, including bans on fast food advertising
  • Supporting General Practice in 2021/22 - NHS England and BMA GP Committee letter to GP practices in England outlining plans to introduce a new obesity and weight management service in 2021
  • Health charities back vaccines drive for those at risk - an open letter signed by UK health charities, including Diabetes UK, to encourage vaccine uptake in those with underlying health conditions

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Health and Safety Executive.


Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with together with representatives from the NHS, executive agencies including clinical staff, CCGs, public health professionals, regulators, local authorities, the independent and third sectors, the weight management industry, patient groups, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, research and development, law firms, consultancies, and others affected by the issues discussed as well as academics and think tanks, and reporters from the national and specialist media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



Keynote Speakers

Greg Quinn

Director, Public Policy & Advocacy UKI, BD; and Chair, ABHI Diabetes Group

Professor Francesco Rubino

Chair of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Kings College London

John Helliwell

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Manchester

Speakers

Dr Ana Pokrajac

Diabetes and Endocrinology Consultant and Clinical Lead, Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Raj T Than

Diabetes Lead, Leicester City CCG and East Midlands Diabetes Clinical Network; and Clinical Champion, Diabetes UK

Chris Askew

Chief Executive, Diabetes UK

Dr Gerry Rayman

Consultant Physician, The Diabetes Centre and Diabetes Research Unit, East Suffolk and North East NHS Foundation Trust

Mark Cook

Director of Government Affairs, Medtronic

Dr Neel Basudev

Diabetes Lead, Lambeth CCG

Dr Chirag Bakhai

GP Lead, East of England Diabetes Clinical Network and Clinical Advisor, NHS Diabetes Programme

Sonia Wijesundare

Chair, Diabetes Forum, Royal College of Nursing