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The diabetes unit at West Suffolk Hospital has good reason to celebrate, following the release of the 2016 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) results. The NaDIA measures the quality of care provided to people with diabetes who are admitted to hospital.

Eighty-six percent of patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall care of their diabetes and a further 81% felt they could take control of their diabetes care whilst in hospital, compared to the average in England of 60%.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) is also in the highest 25% in England for average number of hours spent providing inpatient care per week per diabetes patient by consultants.

One patient who knows the diabetes unit at West Suffolk Hospital well is Valeria Cook, from Soham, Cambridgeshire, who visited West Suffolk to receive a prestigious Alan Nabarro medal; awarded by Diabetes UK to patients who have lived with and managed this condition for more than 50 years.

She has managed her Type 1 diabetes for 52 years overall, and has forged a great relationship with the staff at West Suffolk Hospital who provide her care.

When asked about how she felt to have received the award, Valeria said: “I was really surprised to receive this award but very proud. When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 20 I was under the impression that I might die from my condition. Needless to say, this was scary, and I vowed to learn as much about my condition and how to manage it as possible. The more you understand the more you are in control, and I have helped many people I have met of all ages to do the same thing.

“I am really happy with the care I have received at West Suffolk Hospital. Although I was diagnosed at a different hospital originally, since moving to west Suffolk for treatment I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. You’re not a number here, you’re an individual.”

Dr John Clark, lead diabetologist at WSFT, said: “Valeria has worked with us to learn how to manage her condition and demonstrates how fit and well people can be with over 50 years of diabetes.”

“I am very pleased with the results of the 2016 audit. The good results reflect the hard work put in by the diabetes team. However there is always room for improvement.”

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Valeria Cook, centre, with her daughter and staff from the diabetes unit.

Valeria Cook, centre, with her daughter and staff from the diabetes unit.