Media Release: $400k for the expansion of successful community diabetes service at three new sites

07 June, 2017

Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) is funding Carrington Health and its partners Access Health and Community, EACH and Eastern Health to help more than 1,000 local people manage their diabetes better.

The expansion of the Integrated Diabetes Education and Assessment Service (IDEAS) will see three new service sites opening for consumers in Eastern Melbourne. The new sites will open in August, September and October in East Ringwood, Doncaster East and Hawthorn respectively.

EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte, said diabetes remains the number one cause of avoidable hospitalisations across our catchment. "In the 2014-15 financial year, there were 18,290 avoidable diabetes related hospital admissions, taking up 123,261 hospital bed days," Ms Whyte said.

"The economic health cost to the community for these bed days is over $90 million. More accessible community services can help avoid these high hospital costs by providing people access to the right service, in the right place at the right time.

"The new service sites will address the chronic nature of type 2 diabetes by supporting people to handle the long-term management of their condition and its effects. In turn, this reduces hospital waiting-lists and prevents hospital admissions," she said.

The Australia Institute of Health Welfare (AIHW) estimates 1.2 million (6%) Australian adults had diabetes in 2014–15. It is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults and;

  • Is a leading cause of kidney failure;
  • Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to four times;
  • Is a major cause of limb amputations; and
  • Affects mental health.

Around 940 new patients have been seen, diverting 30% of hospital diabetes outpatient appointments to a community setting and reducing demand on hospital clinics.

For the past eight years, the IDEAS service has brought diabetes specialists, clinicians and patients together as a team. The team’s focus is on supporting people with diabetes to improve their own health in a community setting instead of a hospital. People receive care closer to home with a team they know and trust.

Funded by the Commonwealth Government, IDEAS service is effective and has been embraced by patients at Carrington Health in Box Hill and EACH, Knox.


Bob shares his experience with IDEAS.

Bob is 54 years old, lives alone with a history of schizophrenia, diagnosed with diabetes nine months ago he has poor blood glucose control.

Referred to IDEAS by his GP and seen at Carrington Health, Bob was referred to the diabetes educator to commence insulin. Bob has had several diabetes education consults and regular phone reviews to discuss insulin dose adjustment with the goal of improved control and hypo prevention. He experienced several low blood sugar episodes and needed education to increase his understanding of his condition and help prevent further episodes.

Bob now receives Meals on Wheels, to improve his diet. Healthy eating education and support was provided by the Carrington Health dietitian and supplemented by participation in a diabetes education course.

He is feeling much better and finds the support from the IDEAS team has assisted him to feel confident in self-monitoring his blood glucose levels and administering insulin. He now has a better-balanced diet and is learning more about the effect of food on his blood glucose levels.

For media inquiries:

Sofia Dedes- Marketing and Communications Consultant, Eastern Melbourne PHN

Ph: 0400 512 618