Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) is a partnership between Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Western Sydney Local Health District, Diabetes Australia and Department of Planning and Environment, with an Alliance of over 140 partner organisations.

Diabetes Hotspot​

Western Sydney has been labelled diabetes ‘hotspot’, for many years with disease rates higher than the New South Wales average. In response to this health crisis, the WSD initiative was established in 2014.

The WSD initiative recognises that diabetes is everybody’s business and that partnerships between community health services, general practices, hospitals, specialists and allied health providers need to be improved so that people with diabetes or at risk of diabetes have access to more integrated and comprehensive service of care.

Beating Diabetes Together

Diabetes is a problem that many parts of the community have an interest in solving. Working together, we can create a range of strategies to take the heat out of our diabetes ‘hotspot’ in Western Sydney. Success will require diabetes prevention and management to become everybody’s business and below are some of the initiatives of our WSD partnership.

One of the most significant initiatives of WSD has been the introduction of HbA1c screening at Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital emergency departments. Over the past three years, more than 100,000 patients have had a HbA1c screening performed as part of a regular blood test whilst being treated at these hospitals. To expand on this initiative, Western Sydney Primary Health Network has rolled out routine HbA1c screening in some Western Sydney general practices. This kind of screening promotes early detection of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the community, allowing better management of these conditions.

Diabetes Case Conferencing is a service that aims to improve the management of diabetes in general practice. An endocrinologist and diabetes educator can assist the general practitioner and practice nurse to discuss options for a care plan with patients, which will suit their needs and lifestyle. This service is also now available via Telehealth and can be safely accessed via video call or phone. GPs can find out more about booking a joint GP and Specialist Case Conference on the Diabetes Case Conferences resource.

People with diabetes must take special care of their feet and have a comprehensive foot exam at least once a year. Western Sydney Diabetes has developed the 60-second diabetic foot screening tool to educate patients, nurses and clinicians on the importance of conducting annual foot checks at least annually. Find out more on the six simple steps to keep you and your loved ones on your feet flyer or visit the Save a Leg webpage.

We’ve partnered with the Heart Foundation to introduce patient-lead GP walking groups aimed at improving overall patient health. These walking groups are an inexpensive and effective method of encouraging people to increase their physical activity which can help prevent and manage diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease and manage their weight.

Currently due to COVID-19 the GP walking groups are on hold, until further notice. Visit the Health Foundation website for more information on how to remain active during this time. 

We also have a range of free resources on diabetes management and prevention available online. Health professionals can access Western Sydney HealthPathways (username and password required).

Healthy Living

With diabetes continually growing, it impacts the health and well-being of the Western Sydney community. By reducing the growing threat of diabetes, services and programs have been established to help you and your family understand the importance and benefits of living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation in partnership with Coles, have developed a series of recipes and videos Kitchen Garden Program at home, that you and your family can cook along with at home. The series was developed to support teachers and educators to enhance their kitchen garden classes while teaching remotely, as well as inspire more families to grow, harvest, prepare and share, fresh seasonal delicious food in their homes.

They are also working together to support Kitchen Garden Schools and Centres, and make the Kitchen Garden Program accessible to more schools and centres around the country to help support and encourage Aussie kids with healthy living.

For more information on this program visit their website.

Healthy Living Options, Affordable Food Guide contains lots of practical information for people who want a healthy lifestyle and to reduce their risk of developing diabetes. This is a great resource for recipes, free online cooking classes, and local information about community gardens, where to buy healthy produce and food agencies supplying reduced price or free fresh food to families.

The Healthy Living Western Sydney Guide includes a large range of programs that provide support, teach new skills, and help to motivate you to improve your fitness, or even lose those extra kilograms. As before, the focus is on programs that are either free or very inexpensive.

Resources and Updates