New NHS clinic in Gateshead is UK first

NHS staff in Gateshead are trialling a first-of-its-kind clinic, designed to streamline treatment and make life easier for patients with complex health conditions.

The pharmacy team who set up the new clinic
Claire Davies, Mark Thomas and Hamza Khalil

The UK’s first joint pharmacist led clinic for heart failure and diabetes patients is at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

Instead of attending multiple clinics, patients with these conditions who meet certain criteria can now attend this one clinic, which saves them time and effort attending multiple appointments for each condition.

It also means that specialist pharmacists can optimise the medications for heart failure and diabetes at the same time– as the two conditions are closely linked – ensuring patients are getting the best treatment in the safest way possible with patient centred care

Claire Davies, diabetes and endocrinology specialist pharmacist, explains: “The idea for the pilot came about because we recognised that heart failure and diabetes are closely connected – if you have diabetes you are at risk of heart failure, and vice versa. We noticed there was a gap in the service for people who had both conditions.

“Since the pilot launched at the end of last year, the clinic has saved time for the heart failure service through using specialist pharmacists. Overall the goal of the clinic is to provide a caring patient-centred service, focusing on multiple interlinked conditions in one appointment.”