DEVELOPMENTS are being made to diabetes care in Swindon after reports claimed services in the town were not up to scratch.

Back in January, a report presented to the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee revealed the service was not delivering acceptable outcomes.

And in May, leading charity Diabetes UK called on people in the borough to push for change so the condition was given higher priority. It followed an announcement that more than half of adults with diabetes in Swindon and Wiltshire were not getting the basic checks and services they needed to manage their condition.

In a new report, set to be discussed at the next HOSC meeting in October, developments to improve the overall picture for the town have been outlined.

Director of public health Jose Ortega said: “The Diabetes Steering Group had been established to develop an acceptable service model for Swindon, which would include an improvement in GP engagement in the care of patients with diabetes.

“The group has developed a service specification for a community interface service and a GP local enhanced service linked to this service.

“The enhanced service will be put in place to encourage GP practices to participate in the community-based clinics and to participate in training that would start to bring about a practice and cultural change that would improve the outcomes for people with diabetes in Swindon.”

It is hoped the service will improve diabetic control and delivery of the nine key tests and measurements recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. Previously, 55 per cent of people with diabetes in the area were not receiving all nine checks.

The community interface service is expected to commence in October and a plan has been developed in conjunction with Great Western Hospital and SEQOL, to take the project through to implementation.

As well as this, a joint project run by NHS Swindon and Diabetes UK will aim to recruit volunteers as Diabetes Community Champions who will help raise awareness of diabetes within the black and minority ethnic communities.

And a diabetes mentoring project is also being proposed, which would involve NHS Swindon engaging with GP practices to recruit approximately 500 vulnerable people who will be offered simple screening tests for type two diabetes.

The developments are scheduled to be discussed at the HOSC meeting at 6pm on October 3 at the Civic Offices.