07 May 2024

General practices and patients are both benefiting from Type 2 Diabetes Case Conference Clinic Days which are offered across South Western Sydney, according to one local GP who has taken up the opportunity.

Dr Dong Hua (pictured), from Kenyon Street Medical Centre at Fairfield, said he had participated in three clinic days during the past 12 months and had noted marked improvements in the health of his patients.

“In the short term, we’ve noticed improvements in glycaemic control through diet and lifestyle modification, and medication adjustments,” he said.

“It also ensures all the patients’ other diabetes related appointments, such as eye reviews and feet care, are attended to.

“But it is in the long-term where we’ll see the greatest impacts, with the prevention of complications such as blindness and toe amputations.”

What are case conference clinic days?

A specialist diabetes team will attend your practice for the day clinic. Forty-minute case conferences are held for eight eligible patients with type 2 diabetes.

The patient is included in the consultation, meeting with their GP, an endocrinologist and diabetes educator.

A follow-up telehealth clinic is held six months after the initial clinic.Under The Microscope feature article

The clinics were developed by SWSPHN in collaboration with South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) and aim to enhance diabetes care in our region.

To date, 68 clinics have been held across 26 practices in South Western Sydney. Another 60 clinics are scheduled for this year across 33 practices.

As a result of these clinics, 74 per cent of patients have had a drop in HbA1c. Of these patients, there has been an average decrease in HbA1c of 1.76 per cent (based off their initial pathology and the review at six months).

Why hold the clinics?

Dr Hua said the clinics gave his high-risk patients – often those from culturally and linguistically diverse and low socioeconomic backgrounds – access to an endocrinologist and diabetes educator which were not readily available in his community.

“We only have one local endocrinologist in Fairfield and while he is bulk billing the wait times can be up to three to four months to see him,” he said.

“The clinics also provide great education to my registrar and I as there are a number of new diabetic drugs available and the treatment of diabetes is dynamic, it’s changing all the time.”

How has your practice benefited from the clinics?

Dr Hua said his practice and staff had benefited from the one-on-one education they had received during the case conferences.

“The education gives GPs greater confidence in adjusting patients’ medications and initiating insulin,” he said.

“We’ve noticed better compliance with treatment.

“The program has also instigated preventative recalls in our practice for diabetic patients who are not up-to-date with their annual cycle of care.”

Benefits include:

  • access to billing for MBS chronic disease items for case conferencing, GP management plans, Team Care Arrangements and items of Diabetes Cycles of Care, as eligible
  • increased patient satisfaction with a comprehensive, integrated and interdisciplinary management approach in the one location
  • GPs upskilling in diabetes management
  • access to CPD hours

How have your patients benefited from the clinics?

Dr Hua said all his patients who had attended the clinics had had a positive experience.

“It helps improve their health literacy and compliance with treatment, and they are appreciative of being educated about their diabetic health,” he said.

Benefits include:

  • a diabetes specialist service without extra cost to the patient
  • reduced waiting time for patients to access specialist care like access to an endocrinologist and diabetes educator
  • patient access to diabetes education which such as: how to eat healthy; how to monitor blood sugar levels; managing medications; setting goals and making lifestyle changes
  • continuity of care for the patient with the GP present during the consultation with the specialist

Are the clinics extra work for you?

Dr Hua said the clinics did not require any extra work from the GP.

“I usually identify the eligible patients on my routine screening and management of patients,” he said.

“Once identified and consent is obtained from the patient, I ask my practice nurse to complete the referral and schedule the patients in for the clinic.

“SWSPHN and SWSLHD support us by providing access to an endocrinologist and diabetic educator, co-ordinating the case conferences and arranging the follow-up with patients.

“Also, I find the clinic days very enjoyable and relaxing. It is good to get a break from the usual consulting days which can be busy and tiresome.”

Would you encourage other GPs to get involved?

Dr Hua said other GPs should take the opportunity to hold the clinics which provide great benefits to not only the GP and the practice, but also for high-risk patients who are given access to free specialist and diabetic education.

“The education provided allows GPs to provide better care to their other complex patients who have similar presentations,” he said.

Telehealth type 2 diabetes case conferencing

If a full-day clinic doesn’t work for you, free telehealth type 2 diabetes case conferencing is also available, providing GPs with access to an endocrinologist and diabetes educator for advice on the management of patients with type 2 diabetes. Find out more

Book your clinic

Contact Alyssa Horgan for bookings and enquiries via email at alyssa.horgan@swsphn.com.au or phone on 4632 3088.