Diabetes doctor in running for top national award - vote now!

A Southampton doctor is in the running for a top national award for his work in transforming the way patients with diabetes are cared for during their time in hospital.

Dr Mayank Patel, lead consultant in diabetes at Southampton General Hospital, is one of three clinicians shortlisted for the 2015 Quality in Care award in the category of outstanding educator.

The winner will be decided by an online public vote which will close at 5pm next Friday (11 September). Register your vote here.

In 2012, Dr Patel launched a trial project which saw 400 cardiac, orthopaedic and vascular patients with the condition visited by an inpatient diabetes team during daily ‘bedside clinics’.

The team, made up of a consultant, two specialist nurses, a research dietitian and a dedicated pharmacist, completed full daily reviews, provided information materials to all patients and staff, offered bespoke teaching sessions to all wards and rectified any unsafe or incorrect prescribing.

In addition to preventing 45 potential diabetes-related medication errors, reducing readmission rates from 8.91% to 5% and reducing the length of inpatient stay – a yearly saving of £200,000 – all patients said they were satisfied with their diabetes care, including the number of visits, clarity of information and monitoring.

Prior to the launch of the team, patients with the condition were seen only on a reactive basis by a consultant and pharmacist who split their time with other general medicine duties, one specialist nurse and a part-time dietitian – despite around 20% of all inpatients suffering from diabetes at any one time.

Following the pilot, which was named one of the best inpatient care initiatives of the year at the Quality in Care diabetes awards that year, it was rolled out across University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Patel, in partnership with critical care consultant Dr Sanjay Gupta, then developed a pioneering smartphone application – DiAppBetes – to provide easily accessible advice and guidance to support non-specialist doctors and nurses who look after patients with diabetes.

He also founded charity Sugarfall to help fund equipment and educational resources for staff and patients and, last year, oversaw the launch of an insulin pump therapy service at Southampton General Hospital to enable people with type 1 diabetes to access life-changing treatment closer to home.

Dr Patel and his colleagues are now working on a new initiative with the Saints Foundation to improve the health of men in the city, known as the Football Fans in Training scheme, by offering blood glucose tests, body fat calculations and a healthcheck questionnaire.

He said: “Our team has made great progress in providing excellent care for patients’ diabetes while they are in hospital and it is the result of enthusiasm to improve among everyone – healthcare professionals, patients and their families.

“It is testament to those efforts and the dedication of the diabetes team that I have been put forward for this award and it would mean a great deal if our achievements were endorsed by our patients, colleagues and members of the public via this competition.”

The award is supported by the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) and pharmaceutical company Sanofi. The winner will be announced at the Quality in Care diabetes awards on 15 October at Sanofi's headquarters in Guildford.

Posted on Friday 4 September 2015