Read our latest Impact Report here

Diabetes

The NHS in North West London are committed to exploring new ways of supporting patients with long term conditions to better manage their health. As part of the Diabetes Transformation and Self-Care Programmes, the NW London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups commissioned a pilot of three digital behaviour change programmes for patients with Type 2 Diabetes with an independent evaluation including poster undertaken by Imperial College Health Partners.

In partnership with Imperial College Health Partners, the North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) offered more than 400 patients from 18 GP practices across North West London the opportunity to trial the digital apps over four months last year.

Our impact

Engaging patients to evaluate effectiveness
  • Patients who took part in the study saw a significant reduction in body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and blood sugar (HbA1c) levels
  • Patients lost on average two to three kilograms of weight
  • 118 patients participating provided details of their medication, of those 20 per cent were able to stop taking the diabetes medication metformin during the trial.

The apps, welcomed by leading UK charity Diabetes UK, aim to support patients that are unable to or choose not to attend diabetes education classes to help control their diabetes. They encourage healthy eating and exercise and, educate people on how to manage and control their condition.

Read the full Evaluation Report: Diabetes Digital Behaviour Change Programmes: North West London Pilot

View the Poster: Diabetes Digital Behaviour Change Programmes: North West London Pilot

Achieving sustainability

ICHP engaged end uses to decide the best approach

ICHP carried out interviews with stakeholders from north-west London CCGs, mental health trusts and the cervical screening team from Public Health England; performed desktop research on the spread of similar behavioural change innovations; and sought insight about the possible applications of local datasets to inform an evaluation approach.

From this work, we made recommendations for supporting the sustainability of the leaflet and provided a suggested approach for how it could be disseminated through North West London.

The leaflet is now being used across different CCGs and Trusts as well as various specialist clinics and other NHS organisations such as the Northern Cancer Alliance.

Patients that took part were from a mix of ages, ethnicities and social backgrounds who are often ‘hard to reach’ through traditional methods of care.

The three apps trialled were Changing Health, OurPath, and Oviva. Patients reported that the apps were easy to use, they felt more motivated, better informed about food and enjoyed the tips and advice on hand.

“The results have been beyond our expectations. Historically, the education classes on offer for patients with Type 2 diabetes have seen low attendance. There was an excellent uptake of patients completing the trial using the apps. This alongside the clinically significant improvements in HbA1c, blood pressure and weight; show just how well people respond when they can receive support at the click of a button.”

Dr Tony WillisDiabetes Clinical Lead for the North West London Collaboration of CCGs

“Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK, more than dementia and cancer combined. Everyone learns differently and it’s important that people with diabetes can access a range of tools to help them manage their condition. Diabetes UK welcomes this new work, which shows how technology is being used to widen the options available for people with diabetes.”

Rachael GloverImproving Care Manager at Diabetes UK

“I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001, it has been a gruelling journey but now I am smiling. When my GP spoke to me about these new apps, I was desperate to try anything. I logged on, got some equipment sent to me, changed my diet and my physical activity. I started going on lots of walks which I have grown to love. I recommend this to anyone who is living with diabetes, having difficulty losing weight and getting their HbA1c down because mine has reduced dramatically. I am delighted to have made a turnaround and want to keep it that way. I want to thank my Dr for putting me on this trial; my results have given me so much joy.”

Patrick HingstonHammersmith and Fulham resident, living with Type 2 diabetes

Next steps and spread

Using our results to create sustainable impact

The North West London CCGs are currently working on an ‘information hub’ for both patients and clinicians to find information and training courses on diabetes. The apps will be one of the services on offer to ensure that every patient living with Type 2 diabetes in NW London will get access to personalised support and information to improve their diabetes and their overall health and wellbeing.

Contact

If you would like to find out more about this project please email us