Mount Druitt’s new diabetes clinic – a new model of care for Type 2 diabetes

Visiting GP Dr Aajuli Shukla has a telehealth consult with Mohammed Arif.

Mohammed Arif of Seven Hills was rushed to Blacktown Hospital suffering from multiple strokes – this was the wake-up call he needed to take his Type 2 diabetes more seriously.

In March, Mr Arif was referred to the new diabetes clinic at Mount Druitt Community Health Centre by his GP and on August 6, was taken off insulin and is the first person to be successfully discharged back to his local GP.

The new clinic, officially opened on August 27, will help manage people living with complex Type 2 diabetes in Mount Druitt and Blacktown. This clinic is also there to enhance the skills of local GPs to help manage their patients and reduce hospital waiting lists.

The clinic, which has been operational since May, is three years in the making — a continual collaborative effort from Blacktown Hospital and the Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) team.

WSD was established in response to the growing threat diabetes poses to the health and wellbeing of the Western Sydney community.

The clinic runs on a model where four GPs attend and see patients with complex Type 2 diabetes under the supervision of endocrinologists from WSD, a diabetes educator and a dietitian.

Referring GPs join the consults via telehealth to discuss their patient’s management plan.

WSD director Professor Glen Maberly said over the past four years, diabetes screening in general practices across Western Sydney Local Health District has identified 29% of patients with diabetes and 41% with pre-diabetes.

“Mount Druitt is central to our Western Sydney diabetes hot spot,” Prof Maberly said.

“The community health centre is a location to help us support the needs of the community, including Aboriginal people and people from many cultures and backgrounds, important groups with a high prevalence of diabetes.”

Transitional nurse practitioner Ana Murugesan inserts a continuous glucose monitor into a patient’s arm, which alerts people when their blood sugar gets too low or too high.

The clinic provides many services including diabetes self-management skills, dietary advice, eye screening, foot checks, and blood glucose monitoring technology to identify trends, such as unrecognised hypoglycaemia (abnormally low blood glucose).

“The aim of this clinic is to build the capacity of our GPs, to improve their diabetes management skills that can be applied to other patients they see,” Prof Maberly said.

Mr Arif is doing well and has also quit smoking and lost 8kg. He credits his success to the clinic.

“Having that weekly call, that weekly support,” he said. “I just didn’t want to disappoint them.”

Ana Murugesan uses the flash glucose monitoring camera, which helps identify glucose trends such as unrecognised hypoglycaemia.

For more information about the clinic, call Mount Druitt Community Health Centre on (02) 9881 1200.

If you have any health or diabetes concerns, please speak to your GP for advice.

The free Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service also has a telephone coaching program specially designed for people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes

WSLHD invests more than $2 million annually for the WSD initiative and provided funding of $110,000 for refurbishments at Mount Druitt Community Health Centre.