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Wife of diabetes patient demands catalogue of failings to be addressed

The wife of a patient with type 1 diabetes has asked Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to clean up its act after noticing a catalogue of serious errors had been in the diabetes care of her husband.
Bryan Spinks, 59, has had type 1 diabetes since he was 22, and recently needed to be admitted to hospital on a number of occasions. In the five times Bryan was admitted to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital since September, Bryan’s wife Jill has counted at least one error in his care at each visit.
In addition to his diabetes, Bryan has more recently developed heart disease, prostate problems, vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels) and neuropathy.
During a hospital stay in September, Mr Spinks had notified a duty doctor that the pain medication he was on was not working. Rather than receive different medication or even a review of his pain medication, the duty doctor noted that Mr Spinks was “pain free today”.
Mr Spinks is comfortable using an insulin pump to control his diabetes but in one visit he was left to manage his condition whilst being in no condition to as he had been put on morphine, a hospital error which could have had serious repercussions.
At a further visit, a serious problem with blood glucose levels did occur. Bryan needed to be put onto steroids, a medication which can significantly disrupt blood glucose control, yet his sugar levels were not adequately regulated, leading to severe hypoglycemia developing.
In addition to these problems, Bryan received a misdiagnosis of a trapped nerve in his foot which was actually diabetic neuropathy and a failure of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to spot splintered nerves in Mr Spinks eyes, a complication which was swiftly picked up by a hospital in Birmingham.
Mrs Spinks has demanded that the hospital cleans up its act in 2014 and has met with the Director of Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Dr Edwin Borman on two occasions already.
The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is not the first hospital to have had difficulties and failings with maintaining good diabetes care in hospital. In June of 2013, the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit showed that 40% of diabetic patients had suffered one or more medication errors during a hospital visit. A lack of Diabetes Specialist Nurses has been noted as exacerbating errors in diabetes hospital care.

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