A few days in Liverpool- attending the annual event of Diabetes UYK- attracting health are professionals from all parts- and a few of those living with diabetes. Add in the added day where folks with diabetes could attend and discuss all the key bits from the conference- and it was set to be a busy week indeed
And it didn't disappoint from that aspect...lots of discussions, talks- and will summarise- what to me- were the key highlights- and could have big impact on diabetes care going ahead.
1. Type 2 diabetes is no longer a progressive disease: A fundamental paradigm shift in Type 2 diabetes care- changing the way we look at this type of diabetes. Whatever your criticism of the DIRECT study, one cannot ignore the long lasting impact it will leave. The debate will continue as to the "best" way to obtain this; the "best diet"- but for what it's worth? It offers hope to many; gives options to many- and whatever option they choose? They at least have an option. The scientific community stood, listened and reflected on that salient fact.
2. Mental Health issues can't be ignored much longer: Loud and clear this message came through- this was now something of paramount importance- and multiple sessions confirmed its place and importance for diabetes care. The noise on this arena will continue to grow louder- and quite rightly too
3. OpenAPS is here: Patient power coming to the fore- you can hide from it- but its upon us, A packed session showed its relevance -and pleasantly surprising to see the growing consensus amongst HCPs to look into this and offer support. Early days- but we have traction on this.
Other usual suspects with continued promise such as immunotherapy in Type 1 diabetes by the amazing Colin Dayan continued to be debated- and appear tantalisingly close- with a cautious optimism- understandably so due to the numerous false dawns in this arena. Inpatient safety continued to feature as did issues around language...all in all, a good comprehensive programme- and a conference ably led by Nicola Milne.
Personal favourites were watching what the Liverpool Diabetes Partnership have been up to- no question about the quality of work emanating from that part of the country- and listening to the work led by Reza Zaidi and Fulya Mehta in transition care. Something to emulate for sure in many places- if not anything - the obvious camaraderie the team share with a desire to improve diabetes care in a vulnerable population.
I really liked the work from the Carbs and Cals group- as the focus (or lack of it) on ethnic populations is an Achilles heel for healthcare. Certainly something to look at and push forward. Same for the work being done by Arjun & Charlotte regards the Low Carb App- and what we can do to take it forwards, collect data, offer as options etc.
An opportunity to discuss further work in the Type 1 diabetes arena in India was interesting- and who knows what shape that takes in the future. Its always been a burins desire of mine to do something for India...so let's see!
Some areas where possibly more focus is also needed- and I would perhaps pick out two. One was bariatric surgery- I think we should look at that option more- and secondly a greater focus on the lynchpin of diabetes care in the NHS- Practice Nurses. A good chat with Nicola Milne about this- and I think something for NHSE to pick up too.- let's see.
In the middle of all of that, landed the updated Libre criteria- detailing the who, how and why. As mentioned previously? This wasn't to satisfy everyone but to take the next step forward- and the reactions- in the main- show appreciation for that- which is good. Beyond the keyboard culture of social media, it was good to see that on the Insider Day- where many of those living with diabetes came and interacted with constructive suggestions.
A word of thanks to Chris Askew for his leadership in this whole process- and working in a fabulous collaborative way- which helped create the buzz around the area. It was also nice to see certain individuals stepping up to the broader challenges - the world of diabetes care is indeed safe in the hands of Emma Wilmot; May Ng; Reza Zaidi; Pratik Choudhury et al.
Finally? The best times I had was with the family where I am most comfortable- the evenings spent with the Portsmouth Diabetes team- an absolute blast- and confirmation of one thing as ever for me. When you need to forget everything for a bit- and want to sit with folks who see you just as Partha- and not sell you their work or product?
The Portsmouth team always helps to do just that.