MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz has asked health managers to publish information on how the contract for educating diabetes patients was awarded to the new medical contractor.
Vaz has tabled the request as an early day motion in Parliament after it was announced that medical contractor Spirit Healthcare from Oadby has been awarded the contract for three years. Under the terms of the contract, Spirit Healthcare has to provide education to people who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The new education programme replaces the Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Diagnosed programme. Also called the Desmond programme, it was designed by Professors Melanie Davies and Kamlesh Khunti at the Leicester Diabetes Centre. It is presently being used by over 90 NHS organisations around the country.
Vaz, who is also the chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, wanted to find out how the new patient education programme Empower improves on Desmond, which he claimed was the principal patient education programme for type 2 diabetes in the country.
He requested that the clinical commission groups in Rutland and Leicestershire publish details on the entire contract awarding process and its results.
Spirit Healthcare’s contract is worth about £94,000 annually. It is expected the medical contractor will treat and educate 1,437 patients each year. Empower has several additional aspects, such as a 24/7 telephone line, one-to-one appointments for housebound patients, appointments at the weekends and evenings, courses being hosted at different community venues, and following up on patients every six months to check whether they require additional support, according to the clinical commissioning group.
However, Vaz opined that diabetics in Leicester were disappointed with Leicester City clinical commissioning group’s decision to change the medical contractor.
Leicester City clinical commissioning group Chairman Professor Azhar Farooqi said that Spirit Healthcare was selected after careful assessment to ensure the service will meet the needs of diabetics.