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Barking and Dagenham diabetes programme tackling health inequalities wins 2022 HSJ Partnership Award

An innovative diabetes education programme that is supporting people in Barking and Dagenham has been crowned the Most Impactful Project Addressing Health Inequalities at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards. The ceremony – which took place in London on Thursday 24 March – recognises the most effective collaborations within the NHS.

The accolade was awarded for the ‘Reducing Variation of Care and Outcomes Particularly as it Relates to Socioeconomic, Cultural or Racial Determinants’ project, which saw North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (NEL CCG) commission Oviva Diabetes Support, a remote type 2 diabetes education programme, to support people living with diabetes in Barking and Dagenham.

The programme aims to reduce health inequalities by taking a person centred approach that provides individualised care through one-to-one phone and video sessions with diabetes specialists and dieticians from the local community, educational materials and via an NHS-approved smartphone app. The support is closely integrated with existing diabetes care services and so minimises the demands on GP services.

Dr Anju Gupta, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Diabetes lead for NEL CCG comments: “We are humbled to have won this award, and to have our innovative programme recognised in such a prominent way by colleagues in the wider NHS family.”

“Diabetes is primarily self-managed by people at home and the aim of our programme was to empower them by providing personalised support and tools to better manage their condition. We know that the uptake of diabetes education is particularly low among people from ethnic minority groups, which contributes to the health inequalities that already exist in these communities. To help make the care we provide as accessible and engaging as possible, the dieticians on the programme came from the local communities and they delivered the support in 22 different languages. We now plan to use our learnings from this project to inform our approach to tackling health inequalities in diabetes across all of north east London.”

Comments from the HSJ Partnership Awards judges included: “The judges felt that this was an excellent innovative partnership, enabling individualised care. [The] person centred approach came through strongly and it was culturally linked to the individual which was inspirational. The presenters showcased a brilliant use of data to focus on the problem and the tools provided are hugely valuable.”

The full list of winners for the 2022 HSJ Partnership Awards can be found on their website.