An innovative new diabetes service aimed at tackling the condition through greater support for patients in the community is to be launched in November.

Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (SDCCG), which is responsible for buying healthcare for people living in Epsom, Ewell, Banstead, Mole Valley and East Elmbridge, has said the new service will enable patients to receive specialist treatments closer to home, within their own GP practices as well as at centres in Epsom, Leatherhead, Dorking and Molesey.

The roll-out of the new service will not affect the acute specialist diabetes care currently offered by clinics such as the John Kilner Diabetic Unit at Epsom Hospital.

But it means those patients, who do not need acute care for their conditions but have been going into hospital as there has been no alternative, will now receive specialist care in the community.

Diabetes affects four per cent, nearly 12,000, of the Surrey Downs population. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years.

The new service will be run by Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with CSH Surrey, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, and GPs.

It was developed after consultation with diabetes patients and GPs, 75 per cent of whom said the roll-out of multi-disciplinary community teams was a high priority.

Dr Mark Spring, consultant lead for diabetes at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said the new service will save money in the long-term as fewer patients will suffer "avoidable complications".

He added: "Many cases of acute diabetic crisis and more commonly chronic debilitating complications could be avoided with better levels of care and education in the community."

A spokeswoman for Epsom and St Helier hospitals trust said both hospitals will continue to run acute care for diabetic patients.

She said: "Diabetic patients often need a whole system of care, including GP appointments, specialist treatment in the community and more acute care in a hospital setting.

"Our hospitals at Epsom and St Helier will continue to offer acute care to diabetic patients whose condition requires a greater level of treatment than local community teams can provide."

Dr Spring will be speaking at a meeting discussing how the new services will affect residents on Wednesday, October 15, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, at Epsom Methodist Church Hall, in Ashley Road, Epsom.