CARE of diabetic patients at the Hindon Surgery is the best in the country.

The practice has received an award from Health Secretary Alan Johnson after scoring the highest marks nationally for its service.

Specialist nurse Stella Rhodes, who runs the diabetes clinic at the surgery, has introduced big changes in the way it operates over the last five years.

“The patient gets individualised care from the same person in a consistent way, and with an emphasis on involving them in their long-term condition,” she said.

Patients are offered annual retinal photography in the surgery, referral to local diabetic podiatry services, and their medication is dispensed from the practice.

Mrs Rhodes phones those who do not turn up to the clinic, offering them advice and support, and offering flexible appointment times.

She said: “Our patients like the system because it gives them confidence about their care. They make appointments without prompting, and they adhere very well to the management plans we suggest for them. “We have low incidence of complications of diabetes, specifically lower limb amputations and hypo or hyperglycaemic episodes – of which we have had none in the last five years.”

The practice’s performance was measured against a number of targets set by the NHS Alliance Quality and Outcomes Framework.

The results were described by Wiltshire Primary Care Trust as “inspiring”.

Hindon GP Patrick Craig-McFeely said: “The key to our success has been the delivery of the service by Stella, who knows the patients well and delivers care in a flexible way which is sensitive to each patient’s needs and beliefs.”