A new training and educational programme for diabetes patients living in British care homes is being rolled out in an effort to improve current standards of care.
The comprehensive training course has been developed by the Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) and includes teaching from leading experts, an authoritative workbook and a set of e-learning modules.
A range of diabetes care subjects are covered, from the basics of diabetes and diabetes treatment, including how to manage hypoglycaemia, to issues relating specifically to the management of diabetes in care homes.
The new programme comes in response to large research which revealed the poor quality of care currently being delivered to diabetic care home residents, who make up more than a quarter of the care home population.
The first-ever National Care Home Diabetes Audit, which was led by the IDOP in Autumn 2012-13, surveyed more than 2,000 English care homes and found shortfalls in diabetes screening on admission to a care homen, lack of a designated member of staff responsible for diabetes management and limited access to dedicated training and education for care home employees.
“In many cases older people with diabetes in care homes are suffering unnecessarily and even dying prematurely,” Professor Alan Sinclair, IDOP director and programme lead, said.
“We know diabetes is associated with increasing age, family history, ethnicity, obesity and sedentary lifestyle. It causes premature morbidity, mortality and is a substantial health burden on individuals, health systems and society.
“It can be more difficult to manage in older people because of other linked disorders or diseases and their treatments. Thus, it is not a trivial disease and poses many significant challenges to the delivery of effective and safe care.”
Professor Sinclair added that the IDOP were “delighted” with the success of the first training sessions for the new course and have so far received “excellent feedback from the participants.”

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