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A - Z Services - Opening of the New Diabetes Centre 2006


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Official Opening of New Diabetes Centre

Tuesday 12 December 2006 was the official opening of the RD&E’s New Diabetes, Endocrinology and Vascular Health Centre on the Wonford site.  Serving patients across Exeter, East and Mid Devon, the centre is one of the UK’s leading diabetes facilities and a multi-disciplinary hub supporting cross-community, high-quality diabetes care and providing specialist services. 


Photo of the Diabetes Centre


The opening began with a celebratory symposium of diabetes care in Exeter which included the patient perspective and a curtain opening and buffet.  The opening was attended by patients and patient groups, healthcare professionals involved in Diabetes care across the district, representatives of the Trust executive team and the architects and builders.  The centre was formally opened by Angela Ballatti, Chairman of the RD&E.  The event was jointly organised with the local diabetes charity DIRECT, who also have a home in the centre and who raised a proportion of the overall cost of the project.


Professor John Tooke, DIRECT Trustee, said: “The new centre will allow us to provide the best possible environment for people with diabetes and to cope with the ever-growing numbers of patients.  DIRECT is constantly meeting with different groups within the community to highlight the importance of research and education as well as healthy diets and exercise.  It is as a result of this interaction that the sum of £200,000 has been raised towards the building and purchasing of essential new equipment.  Thank you to everybody who has helped us to achieve this goal.”


Exeter Patient Mrs Georgina Davis, says: “The new diabetes centre is a great tribute to the RD&E’s Diabetes Team and to DIRECT.  Its relaxed, professional and friendly environment is reflective of the excellent quality of care and expertise that the team provides.  The service provided here continues to be exemplary and now has great added value with the new building because all of the associated treatments – such as retinal screening, foot care, etc. – are housed in one place.  This makes communication between patients and the various healthcare staff much easier.”


Photo of inside the Diabetes CentreThe project was masterminded by Dr Ken MacLeod, Lead Clinician in Diabetes at the RD&E.  He said: “This has been a great team effort involving estates staff, architects, finance, patients and professionals.  The transformation of the building into a fit-for-purpose, state-of-the-art facility is remarkable."

“Good diabetes care is a team effort involving multiple healthcare professionals with the patient as the principle partner.  Many diabetes patients are very well-looked after in primary care but their local care providers need the support of the local specialist team.  Other patients require occasional or more regular specialist input. We hope that this centre will serves as the driving engine which supports best diabetes care for all patients in our locality wherever they are looked after and whatever particular problems they have. We also want it to be a centre which integrates research with practice to provide more effective care.  It will be a hub which prizes education to skill up healthcare professionals and equips patients to live with diabetes more successfully.”


Diabetes has been described as a 21st-century epidemic – Exeter’s diabetic population has trebled in the last 20 years.  When left untreated, diabetes is the commonest cause of acquired renal failure and blindness in the working population in the western world.