A quarter of hospitals lack a diabetes specialist nurse, according to audit

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The 2017 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) has revealed that a quarter of hospitals in the UK lack a dedicated diabetes specialist nurse.
Gerry Rayman, the national clinical lead for Inpatient Diabetes, notes that strong progress has been made but improvements are needed in other key areas.
Mr Rayman said: “Diabetes teams are doing fantastic work to improve diabetes care, as evidenced by the audit. Since 2010 there has been a 30% reduction in severe hypoglycemia, a 40% reduction in foot pressure ulcers occurring in hospital and reduction in all medication errors.
“Whilst the improvements are notable there is still a large variation in care across England and Wales and harm arising from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) due to insulin mismanagement remains a worrying problem. Thus, there is still a lot more work to do be done across England and Wales, if people with diabetes are to receive first class care and have confidence in their healthcare teams.”
Whilst medication errors have reduced, they are still occurring in nearly a third of people who are admitted to hospital with diabetes.
The figures suggest that around one in five (18%) of people in hospital experience hypoglycemia during their stay and one in 25 people with type 1 diabetes are affected by DKA.
With type 2 diabetes rates increasing and recent figures suggesting that one in six hospitals beds are being used by someone with diabetes, experts say improvements must be made.
David Jones, assistant director of improvement support and innovation at Diabetes UK, said: “It is essential that people with diabetes feel safe when they stay in hospital. We have spoken to too many people who don’t, and these figures show that there is still work to do to improve safety. We need to do more to support diabetes teams to help their colleagues provide safe and appropriate care.”
Introduced in 2010, the NaDIA was developed to measure the quality of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes care across hospitals in England and Wales.
The audit results were announced at the annual Diabetes UK Professional Conference (DUK), currently taking place in London.