A unique collaboration between Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk and a group of London hospitals has this week launched a new initiative to transform the care of local patients with diabetes.

King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre - which is made up of King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts - has joined hands with Novo to develop a new, world-class model of patient-centred, specialist diabetes management, integrated with community and primary care.

The i3-diabetes programme is thought to be the first alliance of its kind between an Academic Health Science Centre and a pharmaceutical company, and brings together the diabetes expertise from both organisations to address current challenges for local patients. 

The five-year collaboration will generate a new structure of care reflecting the changing role of specialist and tertiary diabetes care in the UK, including the significant shift to more community based services, the groups said.

Two new approaches to care will be taken: the first focuses on improving care co-ordination, including exploring how specialists can work more effectively together to better support patients with complex needs and reducing repetitive multiple interventions; and the second to develop a holistic risk stratification system to ensure patients' care is suited to their whole needs.

"The i3-diabetes programme will offer an opportunity for all to learn how to drive improvements in outcomes without the usual concurrent increases in cost," said Peter Meeus, Vice President Novo Nordisk UK and Ireland. "This is a significant public-private initiative that will drive innovations in diabetes care, research and education," he added.