First ever diabetes care home review underway

Tue, 28 Aug 2012
A new national health drive has been launched in an effort to improve the standard of diabetes care for people living in England's care homes.

The first-ever Care Home Diabetes Audit aims to examine current diabetes procedures and practices being delivered in care home settings, and to identify future quality standards that could be used by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

To encourage care home owners to take part in the review, audit questionnaires are being sent to residential and nursing homes across the country and a summary of the key findings will be made available to all participants.

The "ground-breaking" initiative is being led by the Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) and the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, and comes after a recent pilot scheme in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire revealed alarming variations in access to diabetes education and training for care home staff. It also found evidence of inconsistent documentation, including specific policies for management of the disease .

Audit lead Professor Alan Sinclair, IDOP director and national clinical lead for diabetes in older people, said: "The primary purposes of this audit are firstly, to ascertain what areas of diabetes care within residential settings can be further supported and secondly, to gain better insight into the difficulties of providing enhanced care ."

He added that it has the potential to improve the standard of care received by residents with diabetes, and provide "insight on how to provide staff with the training and support that they need, as well as assisting managers and policymakers to allocate resources".

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of all care home residents in England are estimated to have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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