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NHS diabetes czar appointed

Published on 27/10/03 at 02:42pm

Leading diabetes specialist Dr Sue Roberts has been appointed as the new National Clinical Director for Diabetes, and will oversee the development of the recently finalised national service framework.

Dr Roberts will oversee the spread of good practice and provide professional leadership for the NSF, which puts a new emphasis on early detection of the condition.

Nine pilot sites are to open in inner-city sites around England to bring screening expertise into the community and to prevent patients from developing the disease and complications including heart disease and neuropathy.

The pilot sites will be in Liverpool, Bradford, Leicester, Haringey, Portsmouth, Coventry, Bristol, Luton and Sunderland.

Health Minister David Lammy said: "As we outlined in our diabetes delivery strategy last month, we expect all local health services, not just the pilot areas, to set themselves challenging, measurable targets that result in tangible service improvements. Over time, as the diabetes NSF is delivered locally, people with diabetes should expect better services and greater involvement".

The long-awaited NSF was welcomed by many clinicians in the NHS because of the lack of strict clinical targets it set, but some doctors were disappointed by the lack of incentives to improve local services.

As part of the Department of Health's new policy of not ring-fencing funds, no new money has been designated to the NSF, with PCTs expected to devise their own strategy for improving services.

Dr Roberts said: "This is a real and exciting change in priorities for diabetes services. All these things are actually happening somewhere in the UK right now. They can be adopted much more widely with the training and support underpinning the diabetes NSF".

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