DAWN: Diabetes Appointments via Webcam in Newham
The diabetes service at Newham, East London, exemplifies challenges faced in the National Health Service with increasing demand, pressure to improve efficiency, high non-attendance rates and poor health outcomes, reflecting the complex lives of many patients with long-term illness. Perceived lack of control, poor engagement with inflexible services and poor self-management are common with these patients. Early evidence from our work so far suggests that web-based appointments can be used as part of outpatient services to improve patient experience and provide better access to effective care, with the potential to improve longer-term efficiency. By using readily available video conferencing software (Skype), our service model can be easily replicable across the majority of outpatient care. Further work is now being done to explore the impact of online consultations on improving patient self-management, particularly for those patients labelled "hard to reach".