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Development of an integrated and sustainable rural service for people with diabetes in the Scottish Highlands.
Rural Remote Health. 2006 Jan-Mar; 6(1):422.RR

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The number of people with diabetes is increasing leading to a greater burden on health care services. The impact of the growing prevalence is accentuated by remote and rural demographic and geographic characteristics. Highland is a sparsely populated remote and rural area in the north of Scotland, characterised by poor access to health-care services and pockets of marked deprivation. Centralised policy developments demanding local implementation compounded the pressures on a system that already had waiting times of over 90 weeks for some people with diabetes. A regional review of services, engaging stakeholders from all disciplines and geographical locations was required to develop acceptable and sustainable solutions. This article describes the extensive mapping process involved, how solutions were derived, and suggests a new service structure to encompass remote health-care issues.

METHODS

Health-care professionals with an interest in diabetes were identified and workshops were organised to include the remote areas of Highland. Patient and carers views were ascertained through workshops and supplemented by written submissions. Using the redesign methodology the patient pathway was mapped, noting service deficiencies and good practice. The information gathered was constructed into a service-level map representing the patient journey. A conference was organised to develop solutions to the issues raised during the mapping process. From these solutions a new service configuration was constructed.

RESULTS

Over 300 health-care professionals patients and carers contributed. Fourteen workshops were held across the region including the remote areas, providing 15 local maps of the patient pathways subsequently amalgamated into a service-level map. The current patient pathway in Highland follows a traditional and dichotomous cycle of care in the primary and secondary care setting, partly reflecting the rural nature of healthcare in the Highlands. Four main areas for service improvement were identified: a reduction in waiting times for secondary care out patients; an improvement in communication between health-care professionals; further education for both health-care professionals and patients; and the use and role of allied health professionals. Seventeen solutions were recommended, including the introduction of a managed clinical network, use of an integrated IT system, use of a remote access consultation clinic, and web-based peer education and group sessions for allied health professionals. A new service configuration was proposed with the patient at the centre of a non-hierarchical system using standardised referral letters with a seamless flow of information.

CONCLUSION

Local processes for the implementation of government directives are imposing pressures on relatively smaller organisations. These pressures develop as a result of attempts to ensure local ownership and in overcoming the difficulties unique to the remote and rural setting. Further evaluation of the implementation of initiatives to solve the issues of service planning in remote areas is needed to clarify their level of effectiveness.

Authors+Show Affiliations

NHS Highland, Assynt House, Beechwood Park, Inverness, Scotland, UK. geoffreycramp@doctors.org.uk

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Evaluation Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16475874

Citation

Cramp, Geoffrey J.. "Development of an Integrated and Sustainable Rural Service for People With Diabetes in the Scottish Highlands." Rural and Remote Health, vol. 6, no. 1, 2006, p. 422.
Cramp GJ. Development of an integrated and sustainable rural service for people with diabetes in the Scottish Highlands. Rural Remote Health. 2006;6(1):422.
Cramp, G. J. (2006). Development of an integrated and sustainable rural service for people with diabetes in the Scottish Highlands. Rural and Remote Health, 6(1), 422.
Cramp GJ. Development of an Integrated and Sustainable Rural Service for People With Diabetes in the Scottish Highlands. Rural Remote Health. 2006 Jan-Mar;6(1):422. PubMed PMID: 16475874.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Development of an integrated and sustainable rural service for people with diabetes in the Scottish Highlands. A1 - Cramp,Geoffrey J, Y1 - 2006/02/14/ PY - 2006/2/16/pubmed PY - 2006/3/3/medline PY - 2006/2/16/entrez SP - 422 EP - 422 JF - Rural and remote health JO - Rural Remote Health VL - 6 IS - 1 N2 - INTRODUCTION: The number of people with diabetes is increasing leading to a greater burden on health care services. The impact of the growing prevalence is accentuated by remote and rural demographic and geographic characteristics. Highland is a sparsely populated remote and rural area in the north of Scotland, characterised by poor access to health-care services and pockets of marked deprivation. Centralised policy developments demanding local implementation compounded the pressures on a system that already had waiting times of over 90 weeks for some people with diabetes. A regional review of services, engaging stakeholders from all disciplines and geographical locations was required to develop acceptable and sustainable solutions. This article describes the extensive mapping process involved, how solutions were derived, and suggests a new service structure to encompass remote health-care issues. METHODS: Health-care professionals with an interest in diabetes were identified and workshops were organised to include the remote areas of Highland. Patient and carers views were ascertained through workshops and supplemented by written submissions. Using the redesign methodology the patient pathway was mapped, noting service deficiencies and good practice. The information gathered was constructed into a service-level map representing the patient journey. A conference was organised to develop solutions to the issues raised during the mapping process. From these solutions a new service configuration was constructed. RESULTS: Over 300 health-care professionals patients and carers contributed. Fourteen workshops were held across the region including the remote areas, providing 15 local maps of the patient pathways subsequently amalgamated into a service-level map. The current patient pathway in Highland follows a traditional and dichotomous cycle of care in the primary and secondary care setting, partly reflecting the rural nature of healthcare in the Highlands. Four main areas for service improvement were identified: a reduction in waiting times for secondary care out patients; an improvement in communication between health-care professionals; further education for both health-care professionals and patients; and the use and role of allied health professionals. Seventeen solutions were recommended, including the introduction of a managed clinical network, use of an integrated IT system, use of a remote access consultation clinic, and web-based peer education and group sessions for allied health professionals. A new service configuration was proposed with the patient at the centre of a non-hierarchical system using standardised referral letters with a seamless flow of information. CONCLUSION: Local processes for the implementation of government directives are imposing pressures on relatively smaller organisations. These pressures develop as a result of attempts to ensure local ownership and in overcoming the difficulties unique to the remote and rural setting. Further evaluation of the implementation of initiatives to solve the issues of service planning in remote areas is needed to clarify their level of effectiveness. SN - 1445-6354 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16475874/Development_of_an_integrated_and_sustainable_rural_service_for_people_with_diabetes_in_the_Scottish_Highlands_ L2 - https://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=422 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -