Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) is a partnership between Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Western Sydney Local Health District, Diabetes NSW & ACT and PricewaterhouseCoopers, with an Alliance of over 130 partner organisations.
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 or billing information and FAQs via the WSD Case Conferencing webpage.
We partnered with the Heart Foundation to introduce patient-lead GP walking groups aimed at improving overall patient health and helping prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. GP 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. GPs and practice staff can complete the Walking Group Expression of Interest form to establish a walking group or contact their Local Coordinator on 8811 7117 for more information.
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.