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The National Service Framework (NSF) for Diabetes
What is the NSF ?
The NSF for Diabetes in England and Wales is a blueprint for diabetes services which is to be published in two parts. The first part, the document ‘standards’, which was published in December 2001, identifies aims and standards for services. The second document, ‘delivery strategy’ will be published next year and implementation of the NSF will be hopefully seen by the end of 2003. In summary the NSF aims to improve diabetes services by setting national standards.
Why do we need a NSF for diabetes?
Some of the many reasons given for the genesis of the Diabetes NSF are
- evidence of increasing numbers of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes
- evidence that the onset of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented
- evidence from the DCCT (Diabetes Control and Complications Study) UKPDS (United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study), that tight control of blood pressure and blood glucose improves life expectancy and reduces complications in diabetes
- new treatments for diabetes
- evidence that supported self-care improves outcomes
- evidence of inequalities in access to services and variations in level of care
What steps have been taken so far?
The document setting out the standards for the prevention and management of diabetes has already been published and is available on the DOH website.
Who is behind the planning?
A diabetes NSF implementation group, co-chaired by Professor Mike Pringle and Dr Sheila Adam (Director of Policy, Dept of Health). The group will involve a wide range of stakeholders, including clinicians and people with diabetes.
What is encouraged by the NSF?
Until the final document is published there is a lot we do not know about the delivery strategy of the NSF. We do know however that many of the following will be actively encouraged within the framework:
- local partnerships to improve care
- screening initiatives for diabetic eye disease
- development of recognisable performance indicators for diabetes services
On the web: You can find the documents mentioned above on the Department of Health website: National Service Framework for Diabetes: Standards.