Background to DIG and DiGP:
In 2001, The Southern Health Board Primary Care Unit funded an educational program on Diabetes Care in General Practice which was facilitated by Dr. Susan Smith (ICGP). There were 2 courses run in the former SHB area. At the end of the course, Susan advised that in the absence of a national strategy a local group should meet to advocate structured diabetes care. The participants from Cork were invited by Dr.Finbarr Corkery, Dr.Joe Moran and Katie Murphy to meet and the Diabetes Interest Group (DIG) was formed. Audit has been a core element of this group from the start; this was possible through the efforts of Dr. Martina Kelly who analysed the audit data and provided individual practice feedback, and Kieran Mulchrone (Dept. Applied Mathemtatics at UCC) who developed the audit database.
In August 2007, DIG successfully bid for HSE funding through the Strategic Planning, Reform and Implementation Programme for a diabetes nurse facilitator; Katie Murphy. The HSE has continued to fund this post since then, and DiGP gratefully acknowledges the contribution of John Greaney, Cardiovascular Nurse Facilitator, and Ann Kennelly, Local Health Manager, North Cork/Lead on Chronic Disease Management, PCCC, HSE South in securing this funding, and also to Pat Healy, RDO HSE South, Yvonne Finn Orde (HSE Manager, North Lee/North Cork) and Gabrielle O’Keefe (HSE Manager, South Lee/West Cork) for their ongoing support of this primary care diabetes initiative.
In 2010 DIG formed a company limited by guarantee with charitable status called Diabetes In General practice. DiGP is a General Practice led initiative whose aim is to provide a forum for GPs and practice nurses to ensure best practice in their management of diabetes in general practice through peer support, education and audit. We now have 83 practices enrolled: 237 GPs , 137 Practice Nurses, a PHN (Diabetes Prevention )and a Physiotherapist who are members of a Primary Care Team, and the community dietitians working in DiGP practices. We have a combined total of 8,000 patients with diabetes on our practice registers. There are a further 14 practices who have expressed an interest in joining DiGP.
Diabetes Nurse Facilitator: Katie Murphy offers assistance to practices who join DiGP in setting up patient registers: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes (IGT, IFG), implementing the ICGP 2019 Guidelines ‘Diagnosis and management of uncomplicated Type 2 Diabetes in Adults A succinct practical guide for Irish General Practice’, accessing continuing education and carrying out audits.
Community Diabetes Nurse Specialst: DiGP appointed a Community Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Angie Brien (nee O’Connor), in 2011. Angie currenlty works 4 days a week in 34 DiGP practices, and 1 day a week at the Diabetes Day Centre Southern Infirmary Victoria University Hospital.
DiGP Blood Pressure Project: DiGP had been able to provide a 24 ABPM for each of the 45 DiGP practices who were members at the time that funding was secured. The aim of the project is to improve access to ABPM for diagnosis of hypertension in primary care. Funding for this initiative was provided by an unrestricted grant from Takeda.
DiGP Board of directors:
Chairperson- Dr Audrey Russell, Macroom
Dr. Diarmuid Quinlan, Glanmire
Dr. Jane McCafferty, Ardfert, Co.Kerry.
Nurse Ann Casey, Carrignabhfear
Dr. Suzanne Kelly, Ballincollig
Dr. Mike Thompson, Carrigtwohill
Dr Ciara Nolan, Ballyvolane
Nurse Patricia Phelan, Tower.
Dr. Aoife Moloney, Youghal
Dr Margaret Kiely, Glanmire
Dr Kevin McCarthy, Glanmire
Company Secretary– Katie Murphy,Diabetes Nurse Facilitator,UCC
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