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Teesside care home trial has helped cut diabetes hospital admissions

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is halfway through a trial with seven care homes in the region which has been deemed as a ‘huge success’ following a drop in diabetes admissions.

The NHS Foundation Trust have been carrying out training in care homes across the North East to help reduce hospital admissions for older people with diabetes. Staff have been working in partnership with McKenzie Group Practice in a trial that is set to last 12 months. Currently halfway through, the training is designed to raise workers awareness of the impact low blood sugar can have on residents.  

According to new statistics, the trail is going exceptionally well. Overall, the improved training for care home staff, regular reviews by a specialist diabetes nurse and using new technology has helped reduce hospital admissions from 235 combined days in hospital last year to just four this year. 

Commenting on the news, Julie Sinclair, lead diabetes specialist nurse, said: ‘We raised awareness of diabetes related complications such as hypoglycaemia with care home staff by training them in continuous glucose monitoring, how to recognise various signs and symptoms and to provide simple, initial treatment to keep people safe.

‘So far it has been a huge success and has made a big impact in reducing time spent in hospital.’

As well as cutting diabetes-related hospital admissions, Emma Golby, a diabetes nurse who delivered the training, has noted other benefits.

She explained: ‘District nurse time has been saved due to proactive management of patients and regular reviews of treatment plans. This has freed up valuable time for the district nurses to attend to other patients, safe in the knowledge that the care homes in the study are being supported in the management of patients with diabetes.’

Rachel Smith, manager of Queens Meadow care home – which is taking part in the pilot – has praised Emma’s efforts and claimed she has really helped boost staffs confidence.

‘Emma has delivered training to the staff on hypo events and this has grown their confidence in looking after diabetic patients,’ Rachel remarked. ‘Having the nurses regularly review the residents has meant that we have been able to ask questions when we were unsure of something. This has reduced the amount of times our residents have been admitted to hospital with diabetes related incidents to zero.’

Julie added that working pressures have eased as a result of the trial helping to save money on ‘medical costs, ambulances and bed capacity in hospital.’

The proposal for the care home trial was originally submitted to North East Commissioning services to fund the project for 12 months and it is now due to end in late September. 

Image: North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

More on this topic:

Almost 50,000 people could have diabetes in Wales by 2035, research shows

Delayed diabetes checks potentially contributed to England’s excess death rate

Emily Whitehouse
Writer and journalist for Newstart Magazine, Social Care Today and Air Quality News.

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