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17 November 2014

Western Australia leading the way in diabetes care

Western Australia has taken the lead in ensuring its health system cares for and supports people living with diabetes.

In an Australian first, WA Health—through the efforts of its Diabetes and Endocrine Health Network—has released a Framework for Action on Diabetes which includes a set of Diabetes Service Standards.

Launched on World Diabetes Day (14 November 2014), the document sets out for the first time a vision of what diabetes prevention and care should look like throughout Western Australia.

Diabetes and Endocrine Health Network Co-Lead Professor Tim Davis said the document was an exciting step forward, and would be a valuable resource for both health professionals and consumers.

"The Network spent considerable time reviewing diabetes services throughout the State, with a view to standardising the care provided—regardless of a person's diabetes type or geographical location," Professor Davis said.

"After lengthy consultation with clinicians, consumers, carers and support organisations such as Diabetes WA, we feel we now have a framework that provides a clear vision for the future.

"Health professionals can use the document to determine the kind of diabetes care they should be striving to provide, and consumers can use it to gain a clear indication of the kind of diabetes care they are entitled to expect."

Diabetes is Australia's fastest growing chronic disease, with approximately 280 people across the nation developing the condition every day.

In Western Australia alone, more than 114,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes and for every person diagnosed, it is estimated that there is another person who is not.

Some highlights of the new framework and standards include:

  • an increased focus on the prevention of diabetes and the identification of people at risk
  • new standards around the care of women with gestational diabetes, both before and after birth
  • new standards around the care of children and adolescents under the age of 18
  • an increased focus on multidisciplinary care, with GPs remaining at the heart of these teams, but also drawing in other disciplines.

Professor Davis said the Network would now focus on supporting health professionals and services to implement the Framework and Standards, so that the vision of equitable, quality care can be realised.

A copy of the Framework and standards can be found on the Diabetes and Endocrine Network homepage


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