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6 Aug 2012
NHS Diabetes tackles avoidable harm with Hypo Awareness Week and e-learning module
A quarter of patients with diabetes experience a hypo while in hospital.
NHS Diabetes will highlight the dangers of hypoglycaemia¹ in patients with diabetes to all hospital staff in England and Wales this month by staging its first ever Hypo Awareness Week, to run from 13 to 19 August.
Every trust in England has been invited to take part in the week and it is hoped the awareness and education drive will reduce the incidence of hypos in secondary care. Around 150 inpatient teams have already signed up to receive packs of electronic materials², and are being encouraged to hold activities and training, ensure they have fully-stocked hypo kits on their wards and that all staff (including receptionists) are aware of the symptoms of a hypo and what to do in the event of one.
The awareness week has been timed to coincide with the mid-August launch of the NHS Diabetes Safe Management of Hypoglycaemia e-learning module and to help prepare hospital teams for the 2012 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit in September.
Director of NHS Diabetes, Anna Morton, said: The recognition and safe management of hypos is a care area in need of urgent address. Our inpatient audits have consistently shown on average 15 per cent of inpatients have diabetes and almost a quarter of them experience a hypo while in hospital. These unpleasant, debilitating and costly episodes can often be avoided if trusts ensure all medical and clerical hospital staff receive basic training as a matter of course.
Weve now had over 80,000 registrations to our Safe Use of Insulin e-learning module since it was launched in 2010 and we now hope to see similar numbers sign up to the hypo management course, due to go live in a few weeks. In the meantime, please register with us so we can help your trust stage events and training for Hypo Awareness Week so greater numbers understand the signs, symptoms and safest treatment of this common complication.
Dr Gerry Rayman, Clinical Lead for Inpatient Diabetes at NHS Diabetes and Consultant Physician at Ipswich Hospital, said: Hypoglycaemia is preventable by good care, but unfortunately occurs far too frequently in people with diabetes in hospital. It is also frequently mismanaged by healthcare staff. This is distressing for patients and can result in significant harm.
Poor and inefficient diabetes care increases the financial burden on the NHS. Savings can be made and harm avoided if complications such as hypoglycaemia are prevented by ensuring all healthcare professionals have a basic knowledge of diabetes management. All diabetes teams know this and this why they are so committed to improving staff education, taking part in our audits of inpatient care, benchmarking themselves and introducing new ways of working to improve care.
We want all hospital teams to continue to engage with NHS Diabetes, take part in the September National Diabetes Inpatient Audit and register for the e-learning module as well as educate their colleagues of the dangers of hypoglycaemia in their ward this August.
The free Safe Management of Hypoglycaemia online module is aimed at all health and social care professionals and will be available from mid-August on the NHS Diabetes website at www.diabetes.nhs.uk/safety
For queries relating to the online learning email NHS Diabetes E-Learning and Safety Lead, email Helen Wilkinson: email@example.com.
For more information about the NHS Diabetes Hypo Awareness Week or other inpatient activities email Inpatient Programme Lead Ursula Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See here for further information and details on how to join the NHS Diabetes Inpatient Network and visit www.diabetes.nhs.uk to find out how NHS Diabetes is working to reduce variation in diabetes care.
For further media information or to interview Anna Morton or Dr Gerry Rayman, please contact Huw Beale at NHS Diabetes on 07704 814 628 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors
- Hypoglycaemia, or a hypo,
occurs when the blood glucose level of people with diabetes drops too low and
can include symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety and confusion. If left
untreated, a hypo can eventually lead to unconsciousness and, in extreme cases,
may even prove fatal.
- A pack of materials will be sent to trusts electronically and will contain the following: Instruction sheet tips on how to run the week; Hypo symptoms factsheet for healthcare professionals; Hypo e-learning module promotional card; Press release template; Article for internal newsletter and website; Screensaver; Powerpoint presentation
- The NHS Diabetes Inpatient Network Annual Conference
Showcasing the 2011 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit results is for NHS staff
and takes place on Friday 19 October between 9.30am and 4pm at the Radisson
Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel in London. The event will feed back on the
full National Diabetes Inpatient Audit 2011 results (including comparisons with
the 2010 data), explore how to improve results, prepare the next audit cycle and
use workshops to improve futures audits and engagement with commissioners. The
format of the event will be plenary sessions with keynote speakers Dr Rowan
Hillson MBE, National Clinical Director for Diabetes, and Dr Gerry Rayman,
National Clinical Lead for Inpatient Diabetes. A seat should be available to
everyone wishing to attend but there may be a need to allocate the available
places to ensure that as many organisations as possible are able to send at
least one representative. Register here for a free conference
- NHS Diabetes is the essential link
between diabetes strategy and frontline improvements for patients. Through our
integrated work programmes we provide national leadership and direction as well
as support to local organisations working to champion excellent diabetes