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There are currently 27 CNS integrated care diabetes posts across the nine Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs).
The role was created to support the delivery of the new model of care for patients with diabetes. However, the model of care has yet to be implemented in full.
Last year, 1,700 general practice visits were conducted by CNSs from diabetes integrated care teams in a pilot scheme engaging 11,300 people with diabetes, according to the HSE.
The HSE National Clinical Programme for Diabetes and the HSE Integrated Care Programme for the Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease have proposed a national model of integrated diabetes care, which outlines where patients should be cared for according to the complexity of their condition.
“This model of care is still in the early stages of implementation, and, as yet, is not fully embedded in the health system,” a HSE spokesperson stated.
CNSs work in accordance with this model of care, which aligns with the ICGP 2016 guidelines A Practical Guide to Integrated Type 2 Diabetes Care.
They are based in the community, serving clusters of general practices and linking them to the local specialist services.
“These nurses serve as an integrating force between primary and secondary care, allowing patients with more complicated diabetes to be managed in the community close to their homes. This service, similar to the ‘demonstrator projects’ for other major chronic diseases, serves as a practical way to integrate services for the patient,” the HSE’s spokesperson outlined.