Health educator, The Sound Doctor, is working wonders for diabetes patients, with some GPs reporting an 89% reduction in visits, according to recent statistics.
The Sound Doctor works with medical professionals with the aims of reducing visits to the GP and helping patients manage their condition independently. This is increasingly important as the numbers diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise, with a resultant strain on health services.
According to Diabetes UK, there are over four million people living with the condition in the UK right now, representing a shocking 6% of the population. With research suggesting that more people than ever are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, and with current statistical models predicting that over five million people will suffer from it by 2025 in the UK, something desperately needs to change.
The Sound Doctor has expanded and updated its library of video and audio resources to include over 60 films focusing on how patients can manage their diabetes. Videos include practical advice about diet, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, and medicines. There are also videos about coping with diabetes, the regular tests that Type 2 diabetes patients should have, and guides to dealing with hypoglycaemia and anxiety.
As Rosie Runciman, co-founder of the Sound Doctor, explained: “Our objective is for The Sound Doctor to become a key resource in helping patients with diabetes practice self-care. By providing patients with detailed, accessible and comprehensible online information, they can manage their illness far more effectively and efficiently.”
The Sound Doctor is already proving to be very successful, with participating GPs seeing 92% of their diabetes patients exercising more, an 89% reduction in GP visits, and an 80% reduction in patients not attending their scheduled appointments. In this way, medical professionals are already starting to enjoy significant savings of both time and money.
The Sound Doctor has interviewed a wide range of people living with diabetes, as well as national and international experts, to gauge what difference the resource is making.
Patients really like The Sound Doctor. As Helen Basnett, Practice Manager of Newbold Verdon & Market Bosworth, said: “It’s user-friendly and the diabetic and COPD nurses find it to be a very useful tool.” Diabetes specialist nurse Cath Jamieson says: “My patients love it. I have given it to all my patients and also done a mail shot. We have hundreds of users and I have direct feedback from many of them. I can honestly say that in two years I haven’t had any negative comments about the site. Comments from patients are that it is easy to use, informative, they wish it was on more subjects. One of the major benefits is that they can do it at home, so compared with Desmond, it is a lot less invasive.”
Currently, The Sound Doctor is used by the NHS in Castle Point and Rochford, North East Essex, Basildon and Brentwood, Barnsley, Wolverhampton. South London Pharmacies, parts of Leicestershire, East Devon Health, the NAPC innovation network, Guys and St Thomas’ hospital, Kings College Hospital, Wiltshire and Lambeth