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24 Sept 2012
Paediatric diabetes teams struggle to secure due funding
NHS Diabetes writes to commissioners for progress update on new mandatory standards.
Many paediatric diabetes units in England are struggling to secure the extra funding made available in April by a new best practice tariff, despite meeting its mandatory standards, warns NHS Diabetes today (Monday 24 September 2012).
In a letter (Word 60.6KB) to paediatric diabetes service providers last week, NHS Diabetes Director Anna Morton asked for a formal progress update on the new tariff. The letter comes as many paediatric diabetes teams report commissioning groups are looking for loopholes not to have to pay the tariff while others claim they do not have the necessary funding available.
Dr Fiona Campbell, Paediatric Network Clinical Lead and Consultant Paediatrician at Leeds Children's Hospital, said: It seems providers are either unaware the standards are mandatory, are finding reasons - just or unjust - not to pay, or think it unlikely units will face closure or merger if the benchmarks are not met by next year.
Some local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) tell me there are other clinical areas with best practice tariff that are not paid even if criteria are met this is especially the case if trusts are on block contracts, which a vast majority are.
This is extremely disappointing considering units are working hard to achieve the criteria under the current budget constraints, said Dr Campbell.
Anna Morton, NHS Diabetes Director, said: We will continue to work with commissioners to ensure standards are met by April 2013 and that those paediatric teams working at the required standards receive the funding they are due.
This tariff represents a significant increase in funding for the service to this particularly vulnerable group and its likely many organisations will require some upfront investment to provide sufficient staffing capacity and skill mix.
The best practice tariff for paediatric diabetes sets out 13 areas of care that must be met for teams to qualify for greater financing.
NHS Diabetes is calling on all healthcare professionals involved in the support and care of children and young people with diabetes to join its paediatric diabetes network to ensure sharing of good practice, up-to-date guidance and education tools. For more information about the best practice tariff and how to join the paediatric diabetes network, email Marie Cummins email@example.com