Started 25 years ago in 1991 by Dr. Ralph Abraham London Medical is a private medical centre based in Marylebone. This recently launched the London Diabetes Centre, offering a bigger and more comprehensive service than ever, its diabetes team having experience and more expertise than any other private diabetes clinic in the UK.
Speaking to Independent Practitioner Today earlier this year, London Medical’s COO David Briggs said, “The London Diabetes Centre marks a major milestone in our 25-year history. In a sense, it was also a case of coming full circle – a return to the original vision of our founder Dr Ralph Abraham. His vision was to bring together a select group of specialists with related expertise under one roof to provide joined-up thinking on patient care in a place where these specialist consultants could thrive.”
Dr Abraham says, “Diabetes is a complex condition affecting all of the body, and even the mind. The London Diabetes Centre has a multidisciplinary team and has in-depth knowledge involving cardiac health, eyecare and footcare. The centre has invested in diagnostic equipment, some of which is state-of-the-art, including a new way to screen for diabetic neuropathy. It is the best bit of kit for this purpose in the world, and ours is the only one currently in the country. Technology can make a big difference to diabetes patients’ treatment and wellbeing. We are very open to using of technology to do this with people with diabetes on an individual customized one-to-one basis.”
The London Diabetes Centre’s team is able to advise the benefits of other diabetes equipment such as insulin pumps and CGM sensors. The team of 12 diabetologists at the London Diabetes Centre includes specialists in Type 1, Type 2, paediatric and gestational diabetes. Patients come to us from all over the world to benefit from our exceptional expertise. The team can help identify and alleviate the symptoms of diabetes distress and there are dietitians to talk to and even a bariatric surgeon. There are packages available with ongoing support for weight loss or weight management, including the all-important psychological support. All the clinicians have the ability to provide email or phone support beyond the clinic appointment.
Click on this link to download the centre’s brochure in PDF format: London Diabetes Centre
Making a difference
Dr Abraham has been involved in diabetes research and diabetes care for most of his career. He says, “I am determined to make a difference to the lives of people living with diabetes. It is easier for us to do that by being in private practice. We can devote the time to cater for individual needs. I see Type 1 diabetes in particular as being an area of great need. There is a lot out there to help, but do patients get it at all, or what’s right for them? Not all our patients are well off, but they are keen to keep on top of their diabetes. We do outcome studies so we can report on progress. A private clinic has the scope for this kind of personalised medicine.”
Dr Abraham has an unusual viewpoint when it comes to the ubiquity of the HbA1c measurement that sometimes seems to be the be-all and end-all of diabetes care. He says, “Everyone is glucose-centric these days, but diabetes is more than that. A 20-minute appointment would only allow a discussion about glucose, but we spend the time examining the whole picture; it’s not just a glucose problem. Much of the stress of diabetes comes with the sense of failure people experience every day with ‘wrong’ blood glucose tests. The fact is that many Type 1 diabetics are veterans of their own condition; they know it far better than their doctor does. And these veterans are often very well-informed. It is challenging to keep pace with sensor and insulin pump technology. The learning curve and learning time is expensive. Specialist diabetes centres are vital, but there are not enough of them.”
Dr Abrahams is positive about the future of diabetes care. “What’s exciting about diabetes care at the moment is that it’s getting better every day” he says, “There’s much more technology, it’s just a matter of translating that into real practice.”
London Diabetes Centre holds a quarterly open day. Anyone can come, though there’s a limited number of places. These include talks and sometimes device manufacturers attend. It is a relaxed environment for people to learn in.
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