The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has called for patients to receive an ‘insulin passport’ to help reduce the amount of errors in insulin dosage, and to let patients undergoing insulin therapy to be more active in their own treatment. The organisation has asked NHS bodies to provide the passports as they will bring more effective identification of the insulin products being taken by the patient.
The NPSA argue that the introduction of a passport scheme will allow for important information being available across different healthcare sectors and help ensure that patients are given the relevant insulin product and dosage.
There are reported to be about 300,000 people in the UK that suffer from type 1 diabetes and who use insulin to control their condition. There have been increased concerns over dosage since a study of safety incidents involving insulin revealed that there had been six deaths and 12 incidents resulting in severe harm, in addition to 26 per cent receiving the wrong insulin dose, strength or frequency and 20 per cent not receiving the therapy at all.
Suzette Woodward, director of patient safety at the NPSA, commented ” Medication incidents continue to be a leading cause of harm in healthcare. With insulin this can lead to serious harm or death. The Insulin Passport offers patients and healthcare professionals a simple tool to help reduce that risk.”

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