Finding New Approaches to Tackle Diabetes

Finding New Approaches to Tackle Diabetes

The SW AHSN has developed its own methodology to find innovative answers to complex problems. Our ‘innovation hackathons’ are a three-stage approach to defining issues, seeking potential solutions and identifying the people who can make them happen.
Our latest hackathon was held in Plympton in April 2017 at the request of Beacon Medical Group, which runs a GP practice in the town. The challenge was to explore the local issues and opportunities for reducing people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Current data suggests there could be a significant increase in cases in the future.
Attendees included residents of Plympton, health and care practitioners, commissioners and Public Health representatives. The day was introduced by Claire Oatway from Beacon Medical Group and Chris Connell, Associate Director, NICE Field Team.
Delegates worked through a series of patient stories to come up with ideas of how pre-diabetes could be detected and prevented. From a long-list of over 150 ideas, three were chosen to be taken forward by the partners:

  • Starting Health and Wellbeing Wednesdays in Plympton
  • Volunteering to engage with people to spread the message
  • ‘Care Coordinators’ to act as coaches/advocates

Claire Oatway, Chief Operating Officer, Beacon Medical Group said: “It’s refreshing to see how many partners have come from across our community and beyond to tackle this issue. We’ve been concerned about a rising tide of diabetes in our community and want to show local people that they can minimise their own risk to developing this condition. Each of the ideas has promise and we’re looking to getting into the details.”

Further work is being carried out to test whether these ideas could be effective and how they can be implemented, including market research, identifying expert help and prototyping. This will also include further engagement with the local community to seek their support in collectively tackling diabetes.

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