Diabetes Care in Hospital
If you’re admitted to hospital, either for a planned visit such as surgery or for an emergency, you should expect to receive good quality care during your stay.
To help ensure that your care is appropriate, you can ask for a care plan to be drawn up either before your visit or during it.
Managing your diabetes in hospital
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to manage your diabetes.
A diabetes care plan should be drawn up to help with how your diabetes is managed during your hospital stay.
The care plan will outline the care you can expect to receive, how high and low blood glucose needs to managed, any dietary requirements that need to be taken into account, whether you’d like to involve a relative or carer and whether you have any requirements based on cultural or religious needs.
Will I be able to use my medication and diabetes equipment in hospital?
In some cases you will be able to administer your own diabetes treatment.
The hospital team may decide to temporarily change your treatment routine whilst you are in hospital however.
Typical changes may include putting people who normally take tablets onto insulin.
People taking insulin may have their dosages altered during their stay to prevent the chance of hypoglycemia.
Will the hospital be able to cope with my dietary needs?
The food in hospital should be able to meet a number of dietary requirements, such as vegetarian and vegan.
If you are used to eating a low carb diet, you may need to make some compromises but the hospital should provide a variety of options which should help.
Some people with diabetes may wish to receive snacks at specific times, which the hospital should be able to accommodate. You should have access to see an NHS dietitian during your stay if required.
Formalities when leaving hospital
When you leave hospital at the end of your stay, you should be given a ‘discharge letter’ and a copy will be sent to your GP as well.
If you need a follow up appointment, this should be clearly communicated to you so you know where to go, when to go and what you may need for the appointment.
Diabetes control after your stay
If your treatment or dosages have been different during your stay in hospital, you may need to more closely manage your diabetes in the first few days after leaving hospital, to ensure your control becomes steady again.