Diabetes care social enterprise wins NHS Innovation Challenge award
Apnee Sehat (‘Our Health’) is a social enterprise which is tailoring lifestyle programmes to meet the needs of diabetes in Britain's South Asian community. A community interest company, Apnee Sehat is a spin out from the University of Warwick which delivers commissioned services of culturally sensitive diabetes care to the South Asian community
More than 3 million people throughout the UK have diabetes, and people of South Asian descent are up to six times more likely to develop the disease than the white population.
Apnee Sehat set up the South Asian Specialist Intervention clinic (SASI) in 2011. It is an innovative solution, offering a one-stop care pathway that incorporatesclinical interventions and tailored education and lifestyle advice. Its strategy is to treat patients from both a clinical and lifestyle perspective.
The underlying philosophy is delivering care in the community. Apnee Sehat Clinics are taken into the community by Diabetes Consultants who hold the clinic in the patients’ GP practice. This provides safe and familiar surroundings for this hard to reach group, hence increasing accessibility and attendance.
A SASI pilot has been responsible for a number of improved health outcomes – blood pressure improved in 79% of patients, while cholesterol levels have improved in 59% of patients. Overall, people have felt more confident that they are able to manage their condition and there was evidence of changed behaviour.
The NHS Innovation Challenge Awards are designed to encourage, recognise and reward front line innovation, and to drive forwards the spread and adoption of these innovations. The award will enable SASI to be extended to other black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and to a larger population by replicating the model through a bank of local providers in other areas. There are also plans for SASI practitioners to train others in high South Asian population areas.
Sudhesh Kumar, Dean of Warwick Medical School, says: “Our pilot scheme has shown that SASI can have a significant impact on the health of South Asian patients. We’re looking forward to moving on to the next phase, expanding and further developing the service.”
Quentin Compton Bishop, CEO of Warwick Ventures and Chair of Apnee Sehat’s Board, says: “We recognise that the SASI programme has enormous potential to improve the health and wellbeing of high risk patients in the South Asian Community. We will continue to seek additional support and funding to further expand this programme from its initial pilot phase to enable us to reach more people with or at risk of diabetes.”