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Meet the team


  • Dr Helen Walthall, Research Lead and Programme Lead on Nursing Prof Doc, Oxford Brookes University
  • Dr Rustam Rea, Consultant in Diabetes, OUH NHS FT

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

Even the best model of integrated service may struggle to achieve its potential if organisation of care within the participating services is inefficient. For example, in integrated diabetes care bringing primary care and specialists together, the challenge may be how the individual practices manage their populations of patients with diabetes and how they engage with specialists.

Our experience shows that primary care healthcare professionals tasked with managing their practice’s population and interacting with specialists may have a limited access to evidence to inform organisation of care and effective communication with specialists; instead, they may rely on opportunistic solutions and practices developed many years ago to manage smaller cohorts of patients with diabetes or other conditions.

What does your project aim to achieve?

We propose to develop an online resource for primary care healthcare professionals to:

-access evidence informing organisation of diabetes care

-access evidence on how to manage communication with specialists involved, e.g. diabetologists and mental health specialists

-access guidance on how to implement the above evidence using quality improvement methodology

-enable exchange of questions, experiences and best practice

This online resource will be a platform for primary care to seek evidence on how to organise diabetes care and to share good practice. It will offer solutions to be considered for local adaptation. For example, it will provide evidence on effective ways of increasing delivery of all diabetes care processes, of hosting multidisciplinary virtual clinics, and of re-engaging with patients who are not attending diabetes clinics. This will be done within the context of quality improvement methodology recognising the importance of a local context.

How will the project be delivered?

In the initial stages of the project, 0-3 month, we will explore similar initiatives to determine what works for increasing engagement with quality improvement websites, and consult on the content of the website with intended recipients (meetings with primary care nurses, using social media). Then, at the 4-5 month stage, we will work on the website’s design and test its usability. After that, at the 6-10 month stage, we will refine the website with feedback from its users and evaluate the project.

To collect feedback, we will ask 20 practice nurses to comment on their experience of using the website. We will also analyse comments on the website to understand who is using it and for what purpose. We will analyse the website’s metrics to assess how popular it is and what content is being accessed.

We will recruit an IT consultant and a researcher (preferably a primary care nurse to increase this group’s involvement in QI). We will keep the process open to the interested Q members.

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

The resource would be addressed at primary care healthcare professionals and primary care nurses in particular as we think this group would benefit the most. Primary care nurses often work in silos and have limited opportunities to learn how to organise diabetes care and communicate about good practice. This online resource will enable 1) learning from published high quality evidence and 2) exchanging learning between teams managing diabetes care in primary care and working on integrated diabetes care projects.

The platform will be secured for three years beyond the project and its future will be discussed in the late stages of the project and funding for its continuous maintenance sought (website hosting, updating the evidence, moderating the forum).

The learning from the process of developing the online resource will be shared with the Q Community for use by those pursuing similar idea.

How you can contribute

  • The Q members who would like to join the team, in particular primary care nurses, are encouraged to contact us.
  • We recognise that there is not many people practising in primary care who belong to Q and we hope that this project will make the organisation more relevant and attractive to this group.

Plan timeline

1 Jan 2020 Start of the project. Researchers in place.
31 Jan 2020 The main 'how to' topics selected. Review of evidence.
31 Mar 2020 Collated reviewed evidence.
30 Apr 2020 First version of the platform in use. Publicity. Feedback.
30 Nov 2020 Refined platform. Forum in use.
31 Dec 2020 Evaluation. Moving to the maintenance stage.


  1. Hi team,

    I really like the fact that this is a primary care facing idea. I’m wondering if you have thought about teaming up with a CCG to beta test this in one geographical area before wider spread?

    Good luck!

    best wishes

    Anna 😊

    1. Dear Anna, thank you for your positive comment. We have been considering teaming up with a CCG and this is still on the cards. Best wishes, Olga

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