The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Diabetes has released its latest report looking at the Future of Inpatient Diabetes Care.
One in six hospital beds is occupied by a person with diabetes. With a person being diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes, this is only likely to increase in future. We need to challenge the widespread acceptance of poor outcomes for inpatients with diabetes.
This report details the picture painted by patients and healthcare professionals with direct experience of care, and the measures that are urgently needed to guarantee that the future of inpatient diabetes care is a bright one. It starts with leadership, accountability, a long-term vision and a patient-centred approach. Only then can changes be made to improve inpatient diabetes care, including:
- Access to knowledgeable healthcare professionals;
- Integrated processes;
- Support for self-management.
Despite improvements in certain areas, one in four hospitals still do not have a diabetes specialist team. Almost three in 10 inpatients with diabetes suffer avoidable harm due to medication errors, an increase since 2011. As a result, one in five patients will have a hypoglycaemic episode and one in 25 suffer from diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to a coma or even death.
The Government and NHS England have begun to recognise the need for improvement in inpatient diabetes care. Creating or expanding diabetes inpatient nursing services (DISNs) was one of the four key areas for the NHS Transformation Funding for diabetes. Whilst an achievement, this still leaves many more areas in need of improvement.