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Inpatient diabetes care during the Covid-19 pandemic

Since 2018 we have called for every stay in hospital for someone with diabetes to be safe (PDF, 1.1MB). The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for inpatient diabetes teams to ensure this happens. Over the last two months we have spoken to health care professionals to better understand their experiences of delivering care under these circumstances. 

We have now produced a series of case studies highlighting inpatient diabetes teams who have demonstrated innovation in their response to the first wave of Covid-19: 

Our report Inpatient Care during the Covid-19 pandemic (PDF, 225KB) summarises these experiences and outlining key recommendations to ensure safe inpatient care for people with diabetes over the winter months. As the NHS moves into phase 3 of their response, we must urge systems and leaders to take account of lessons learned during the first peak.  

Our recommendations for the winter months ahead include: 

Ensuring that making use of available capacity for planned, elective or emergency surgery should not come at the cost of safe and equally accessible care.  

Preparation by hospitals and local health systems ensuring that:  

  • Hospitals and local health systems involve diabetes specialist teams in recovery phase and winter planning. 

  • The NHSE Long-Term Plan commitments to ensure universal coverage of Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse teams are urgently actioned. 

  • Diabetes Inpatient teams are deployed effectively to maximise their value and provide safe, effective care for people with diabetes.  

  • Technology such as web-linked glucose meters, ketone meters, electronic patient records, inpatient diabetes dashboards, and video call equipment is available in all hospitals.

  • Hospitals and local health systems provide appropriate support and protection for staff physical and mental wellbeing.

Our work to improve inpatient care for people with diabetes doesn’t stop here. We will be taking forward our findings into new streams of work and will continue to support clinicians and the system as it meets the challenges of the months ahead. 

For more information please contact

Sanofi has provided financial sponsorship to support Diabetes UK’s Improving Inpatient Care Programme. Sanofi has no editorial control over the content or the delivery of the programme.

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