Last September, NHS England publicised its plan to invest £44 million into diabetes care with CCGs able to bid for a part of the diabetes transformation fund in November. Successful CCGs were made aware of the results of the bids this month however the portion of funds allocated to those CCGs will not be made publicly available until the General Election has passed. Bids were made both by individual CCGs and by groups of CCGs who have assembled together.
Such funding was endorsed as part of the Five Year Forward plan which aims to deliver a more responsive NHS that ‘continues to deliver health and high quality care’ and is focused on the issues that ‘matter most to the public’.
The NHS Shared Planning Guidance for 2017-2019 provides guidance on what the funding should be used for and the overall outcomes that should be achieved as a result whilst taking into consideration the findings of the independent cancer and mental health taskforce. Funding should be allocated to improving achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets, reducing amputations with an enhanced multi-disciplinary foot care team (MDFTs), enhancing diabetes inpatient specialist nursing support to reduce the length of hospital stays (DISNs) and to the provision of structured education for people with diabetes. CCGs were able to make a bid prioritising one of these areas or were able to bid for all four. Consequently the overriding objectives of the guide is to ensure a ‘best possible value framework’ when undertaking such investment decisions whilst ensuring a single co-ordinated application process is in place to ‘minimise the administrative burden on local areas who would be applying for funding’.
NHS England claims that the funding will, ‘kick start, at scale, revolutions for diabetes treatment and prevention’. The transformation fund is highly welcomed by various groups, including the Diabetes Times and Diabetes UK who work to ensure that diabetes remains on the NHS agenda.