This County Durham medical couple are easing NHS diabetes worries

A COUNTY Durham medical duo are hoping to provide more support for type two diabetes sufferers and help ease the pressure on the NHS in the region by introducing a programme of support.

Husband and wife team Dr Amanda Porch and Dr Paul Baker, who continue to practice as NHS GP’s, have pinpointed the health condition as a matter of priority after seeing that diabetes effects 4.9 million people in the UK, 90 per cent of which have type 2 diabetes, while a further 850,000 people are currently living with type two diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed.

In addition, an estimated £10bn a year is being spent on fighting diabetes, nearly 80 per cent of which goes to treating complications, according to NHS England data.

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Having seen first-hand the strain that the NHS is currently under when treating type two diabetes, the County Durham couple have introduced, Diabetes Lifestyle Doctors, which aims to become a one-stop-shop for sufferers of type two diabetes; providing additional support that the NHS is too overstretched to currently offer everyone

Dr Baker said: “I truly think the NHS does an exceptional job for the scale of the problem we’re facing in this country. But, unfortunately, nearly all the resources must be directed towards managing diabetes complications, of which there are many.

“My Grandad had type 2 diabetes for quite a few years before he died. He always struggled to come to terms with the diagnosis and struggled with what to do and what not to do.

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“I believe if everyone diagnosed had easy access to a diabetes focussed lifestyle programme, that we could change the trajectory of managing this condition for the benefit of our society.”

Both Amanda and Paul feel that patients with diabetes receive excellent care and follow up from the NHS, but a GP’s inability to spend significant time with their patients during the initial NHS diagnosis creates a diabetes care gap, according to the medical duo.

Dr Porch added: “The limitation is lack of time and demand on the system often means less frequent appointments than we would all like.

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“It’s hard having the knowledge and experience to help, but not being able to put it to full use for the benefit of patients.

“It’s a big diagnosis to give and a big turning point in someone’s life. You want it to be done right and to give the right support to patients, but unfortunately there isn’t the time resource to do that. That’s where the idea for our programme was born.”

People taking part in Diabetes Lifestyle Doctors can participate in a 12-week lifestyle plan supported by trained professionals such as doctors, health and wellness coaches and dietitians, as well as access to recipes, video content and a community support network hosted on social media.

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